“If you turn your phone in at the beginning of class, you will get 1% extra credit.” I couldn’t believe it. All I would have to do to get one whole percent of extra credit was separate myself from my phone for an hour and fifteen minutes? What a piece of cake. Would this really be a challenge for some people? I was rather taken aback (but grateful nonetheless) by this proposition. Unlike most of my professors assume, I am not addicted to my cell phone. Sure, I am susceptible to the occasional distraction of it, but I am fine taking a break from it. In fact, I even like it- I felt laser-focused without my cell phone by my side. However, it got me thinking- is my generation really that addicted to technology?
Just as we have learned in class about the dangers of cigarettes addiction, I was curious about the dangers and reality of cell phone addiction. Recently I had to go on a nature walk for my BiSci class. In order to do this, we had to leave our cell phones behind with our TA. Again, as someone who is not emotionally attached to my cell phone, this was no issue for me. However, I can’t say the same for my other classmates. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they missed their phone or where anxious without it, I would have been able to buy my way out of going on that walk. It was absolutely mind blowing how much they genuinely missed their phones. This experience made me even more curious about the reality of cell phone addiction.
According to a study done by Science News for Students, many college students find themselves addicted to their cell phones. Out of the 24 hours in the day, the average college students finds themselves spending a whopping 9 of those on cellphone use alone. When students tried to distance themselves from their phones, they experienced similar symptoms that a drug addict may experience when going through withdraw. This study helps explain why so many of my classmates were agitated and upset when they were not by their phones.
Another study done by Psychology Today showed that cell phone addiction is more serious it may sound. While many adults love to joke about teens being addicted to their devices, it can actually be quite a serious thing. In a study conducted in England, almost half of the people surveyed admitted to having separation anxiety from their cell phones when they lose it or are away from it. People who are so consumed in their cell phones may even experience symptoms such as having the impulse to constantly check their phone, slipping grades due to cell phone consumption, and they even may experience the sensation of getting a cell phone notification when there really was no notification at all. Many of these potential symptoms are very similar to the symptoms addicts of drugs experience, further perpetuating the notion that cell phones can be highly addictive.
Granted, some of these “symptoms” of addiction could be due to numerous confounding variables. For example, I do not consider myself someone who constantly needs to be on their phone, yet even sometimes I find myself thinking my phone buzzed even when it didn’t. I feel as though we all think we hear one sound when in reality it is another from time to time. Also, the bit about cell phone addiction causing grades to slip is a bit of a shaky point. Grades can slip for a multitude of reasons such as stress, busy schedules, etc. Again, correlation does not mean causation, so just because someone may use their phone a lot and also have bad grades does not mean their phone usage is the reason for their grades. However, there is no denying that high cell phone usage can be very detrimental to some people and it can have negative effects.
It is crazy that cell phones have become a rather dangerous piece of technology. Some people have actually been impacted so badly by cell phone addiction that they have had to seek help from therapy groups . I am to have evaded this crippling addiction, and I hope that those who were not as lucky as me can soon kick their addiction and focus on the important things in life. If you do believe you are addicted and simply don’t know where to start in order to overcome it, this article will give you a good idea of where to start. Now, get off your phone and start living life!