Students: Say No to Cell Phones (Yup, You Read that Right)

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Students: Say No to Cell Phones (Yup, You Read that Right)

blog cell pic.jpgDo you fall asleep with your cell phone next to your head and check for new messages anytime you wake up during the middle of the night? Is texting important in helping you connect with your old college roommate or elementary school friend? Are you embarrassed to admit you have secretly read messages in your boyfriend’s inbox on his cell phone when he wasn’t looking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have more in common with Generation Y – or Generation Mobile, as the age group is commonly called – than you think.

Some new statistics about cell phone use amongst students published by HackCollege – a site that touts itself for “changing education” – confirms what we already know about Gen Y: no matter the year in school, this generation will go nowhere without their cell phones. Yet it also sheds light on some more disturbing statistics as well.

“Cell phones are practically a part of young people’s bodies,” HackCollege writes. “Sure they do normal phone stuff like call and text friends, but nearly 90 percent have used their phone during class and nearly a quarter of smartphone-weilding students use them to look at porn. It’s pretty clear: Students love their phones. A lot.”

After surveying Generation Mobile, HackCollege found the following key findings: 25 percent of students whip out their cell phone every single class period; 94 percent of students text every day; 73 percent make calls every day; 60 percent state that they sometimes feel too “addicted” to their phone; and 75 percent of students sleep next to their phones.

Other stats revealed that 88 percent of students have texted while in class, with 30 percent texting more than once during a class; one in four students have been at one end of sexting or another; 50 percent of students have secretly read a friend or significant other’s texts; and 13 percent have used their cell phones to cheat on a test.

These results of the survey scream one thing loud and clear: students are way too reliant on their cell phones.

As a member of Generation Y – but as someone who refuses to update her cell phone once she gets acquainted with it and as someone who could not really tell you the difference between “Angry Birds” and “Crazy Penguin Catapult 2” – I am somewhat ashamed of my fellow millennials. It is one thing to check your phone first thing when you wake up in the morning, but it is another to have your phone on the table every time you go out to dinner (and, yes, I am calling out some of my best friends right now!). I understand the need to check your cell phone in between classes, but really, what’s the need to text with the kid who is sitting two feet away from you during Algebra class? I promise you it is not that important to discuss how on earth Chelsea could have shown up to school wearing a Delia’s outfit today.

I’m going to make a statement that is not meant to upset any of my peers, but I do not get this obsession with social networking and incessant cell phone use. For example, I totally get the fun in looking at someone’s pictures on Facebook to see how a momentous occasion in their life went, but why not get a cup of coffee with them and see the pictures in person instead?

However, since I can’t berate a bunch of college grads about picking up the phone to call their best friend as opposed to writing on their Facebook wall, I will attempt to talk to students (who at this juncture of their lives are conditioned to learning).

Put down the cell phone. Even for an hour. Just step away, take a walk, and visit a friend. Don’t worry about who just updated his/her Twitter or what the “Kim Kardashian Wedding Bust” group on Facebook is discussing this moment or what your friend texted you about “Dancing with the Stars” last night. Start appreciating the physical world – your peers sitting next to you in class, the teacher who has worked tirelessly on the lesson plan, and the school administrators who have worked so hard to give you a wonderful school environment.  

Call me a dork, a nerd, or whatever you want, but when you grow up being able to step away from your cell phone and enjoy a really nice dinner conversation, you will thank me.  

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1 Comment

I absolurely agree with you. We got obsessed with our cell phones and is quite too much. I mean there are plenty of other more important things in our lives!

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