Teen Cell Phone Addiction

Ethan Samet, Editor

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In our modern day cell phones have become huge parts of our lives. From the day we get them to the day we die it seems they are with us 24/7 365. Many of us can’t live without our phones, it gives us quick access to the internet, lets us keep in touch with our friends and family, and they let us kill time with games. Although, today it seems that cell phones are no longer just tools for us, but rather devices of electronic addiction. Teens are turning to the cell phones more and more, letting the devices permeate our society at every level and effecting everything from social to classroom interactions and even mental health. For some the cell phone has gone from being a device that helps to keep their lives on track to being the sole obsession of their days, which could end up posing a severe problem for the students of today and tomorrow.


For years now parents, teachers, and many others have been telling students that the more the play on their phones the worse they will perform in school. Almost every kid in school today has heard at some point or another to get off their phone and focus on the books. As it turns out the adults around you actually know what they’re talking about. In a study published in the Educational Psychology journal and reviewed by U.S. News it was found that out of 118 students those “who had cell phones or laptops present while a lesson was being taught scored five percent, or half a letter grade, lower on exams than students who didn’t use electronics”. The researchers went on to say that when the attention of students is divided between the lecture and their phones or other devices they can’t retain all the information to the fullest extent possible in turn lowering test scores. It isn’t just your school work that can suffer because of your cell phone though, your mental health can also be negatively affected.


In our modern day mental health has come to the forefront of our attention. Whether it be because a teenageer was having severe trouble and no one picked up on it, or because we looked at the stigma that surrounds mental disease, in one way or another in recent years the condition of our minds has been creeping in and getting talked about more than ever. But one thing it seems people don’t talk about as much is how cell phone usage might be affecting the minds of young people. National Public Radio researcher Jean Twenge has recently published a study that shows “teens who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide”.  The researcher did go on to state that this level of cell phone usage merely promotes a risk factor for suicide and depression but, the risk is increased nonetheless.


This article is not meant to preach that using your cell phone is constantly going to make you depressed or cause you to flunk a class. But, just like with anything else too much of a good or fun thing often has negative repercussions and that saying holds very true with cell phones. They offer lots of great things and have allowed us to become more connected in ways we never dreamed possible, but they also offer very real possibilities of being major distractions and hindrances in our lives. So, when it comes to using your cell phone it’s absolutely fine to check it throughout the day, but it might also be a good idea to put the phone down every now and then and go outside, spend time with friends or family, and maybe try to leave it alone during class.