The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired


Journal Address

Phones are detrimental to education

State Enrolled Act 185, which effectively bans cell phones in Indiana schools, will take effect on July 1. According to NPR, this law passed with “heavy bipartisan support,” indicating that lawmakers understand this is a pressing issue in education and beyond.

Pew Research Center shows there is conclusive evidence that dependence on phones causes issues for teenagers. 44% of U.S. teens say being without their phone makes them anxious and only less than 30% think phone usage helps them develop social skills.

The issue of phone use is being acknowledged by older generations and some of Generation Z, yet many people still don’t see it as an issue. Almost 65% of teenagers have never made an attempt to cut back on their screen time, according to Pew.

Many teenagers see phones as a net positive. 70% of those surveyed from Pew say that “the benefits of smart phones outweigh the harms.” But research from Pew and beyond shows that phones are inextricably linked to worse mental health for teenagers.

Here in SHS, this mental disconnect about the benefits and harms of phones is creating a feedback loop of apathy between teachers and students.

“Most people get into teaching because we are passionate about our topic,” environmental science teacher Rachel Brunsell said. “And when day after day after day they are met with more people than not who don’t care at all, … it is phenomenally frustrating.”

When students aren’t engaged because they aren’t receiving instant gratification that they are conditioned for from phones, this dampers motivation from teachers.

Conversely, when teachers have to teach in a classroom where barely anyone is paying attention, this contributes to teacher burnout where they can’t do their job of educating because of their mental state. Students can see this at SHS with the amount of teacher turnover throughout their high school career.

The solution to this is a large systematic change in how all of society interacts with technology, but it can also start with students. This change can all start with students putting down phones and making conscious efforts to interact with their peers and teachers.

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