This article contains the Pros And Cons Of Cell Phone Usage By Students.
Before now, cell phones were specifically structured for calls and sending text messages but over time, the phones produced started having more function. There was a rapid advancement in the functions of phones. Phones are no more for calls and messages alone but some can qualify for mini computers, radios, TV, etc. With phones, people can now comfortably sit back to watch their choice videos and all.
As cell phones become increasingly prevalent among both adults and youth, many schools face an important question of policy as to whether or not to ban the use of cellphones in school. This remains an unsettled argument between schools, students and parents. While many people are in support of allowing students access to cell phones in schools, others have bluntly kicked against this with cogent reasons.
This is a case that has produced different conflicting opinions. For everything that has an advantage, there is also a disadvantage. This article contains information on the Pros and Cons of cell phone usage by students.
PROS OF CELL PHONE USAGE BY STUDENTS
As much as cell phones are known to have some negative effects on students, especially high school students, the advantage can not be overruled. They include:
1. PARENTAL CONTACT
Most parents are of the opinion that students should be allowed access to cellphones because of communication purposes.
Allowing students to use cell phones gives parents the ability to contact their children whenever necessary. Parents would always love to constantly communicate with their wards for different reasons. Be it day or boarding students, the phone is important for communication. This can include during family emergencies or when a student may need to arrange a different method of getting home.
My parents have never been an advocate of students having cell phones at a young age till a particular incident occurred due to no means of communicating to us at school. That incident forced my parents to get me a small cellphone in JSS 1 which was eventually stolen by a classmate.
2. ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Initially, cell phones were basically for communication purposes but now phones have been extremely improved on. They now come with apps that enable one to gain access to information easily without stress. Before now, students will have to go to cyber cafes and libraries to get assignments done but with phones, dictionaries and search engines in it, life has been made easy.
The time is long gone when students have to go to the library or an encyclopaedia to do a job. Although books contain valuable information that can be of great help to them, they can find anything on the Internet, and much more immediately. This is one very important advantage of allowing students to use mobile phones.
Having a cell phone on hand enables a student to quickly seek assistance in the middle of an emergency. In the case of violent attacks at a school, fires, kidnappings, medical emergencies and other emergencies can be reported quickly so as to get the required assistance.
In the case of kidnapping, a missing child can be located through GPS transmitters which most modern phones have. GPS transmitters are mainly for roaming and identifying phone locations but on the other hand, they have been used in tracking missing students.
4. SHARING RESOURCES
With the use of cell phones, students can easily share information and useful materials within themselves both in and out of school. They can easily do so by creating social media groups. College students can easily use their phones to record a seemingly difficult lecture for later understanding.
CONS OF CELL PHONE USAGE BY STUDENTS
Cell Phones have been identified to cause more harm than good to students. This is why some individuals are of the opinion that students should be banned from the use of phones while in school. Below are some of the disadvantages:
1. CONSTANT DISTRACTION
Cell phones have been a tool of distraction for students. Students are easily distracted in class by numerous calls and text messages. Many times, when a student is expected to fully concentrate in class, their minds are busy wandering and thinking about the unfinished chats they have in one social media group or the other.
Others spend the time they ought to use for studying to chat all day, playing addictive games and watching one video skits or the other. Some students may not even have a dictionary in their cell phones but have all the photo editing apps and belong to every social media platform. The modern phones today have turned into a bundle of distractions for students.
2. CONSTANT EXPENSES
It is one thing to own a cellphone as a student, it is another thing to maintain it. A modern day phone is useless without a working internet. This means that a student must always have data. Most students who do not have access to free WIFI tend to spend their allowance on daily, weekly or even monthly subscriptions. Unfortunately, due to the amount of social media activities they are exposed to, these subscriptions do not last which requires them to constantly make expenses. This always leaves many students who are not financially buoyant in debt.
Those who can not afford it tend to become a public nuisance, demanding subscription from every Tom and Harry. Apart from internet subscriptions, some spend on making their phones look attractive. All thanks to the numerous phone covers in existence.
3. HINDERS SLEEP
Every student needs adequate sleep and proper relaxation to stay fit and perform well but cell phones have gradually deprived most students of that.
There is good evidence that mobile phones contribute to sleep deprivation. At night when students should be relaxing, they spend time with phones even while in bed. Unfortunately, there seem to be amazing midnight offers that keep students awake all night and when they are expected to be actively participating in class the next morning, they spend time dozing off in classes.
4. HEALTH PROBLEMS
Numerous studies have shown that phones produce electromagnetic radiation which are very harmful to humans especially when exposed to regular phone usage. Some of the dangers of this radiation is cancer.
Regular phone usage amongst students has become an addiction. Many students are on the phone screen round the clock. Apart from the issue of electromagnetic radiations, constant exposure to the phone screens can affect the eyes drastically. Many students who are down with one sight issue or the other is due to regular phone usage.
5. CAUSE ACCIDENTS
People get engrossed by their phones when they walk around. They collide with things, bump into people, or even worse, step into the road without looking. The effects of distraction caused to drivers are even worse, as making or receiving calls or texts, or using the phones for other functions can all result in drivers not paying attention to the road and result in serious accidents.
6. ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE
On a daily basis, mobile phones have been used to track people’s movements. Many students have been tracked and killed through the use of mobile phones. While the use of mobile phones can not be avoided as a result of this, students need to be extremely careful.
7. YOUTH CRIME
In the past when expensive phone models were not in existence, life was more peaceful but now that most students if not all have quite expensive phones, crime rate has increased. Students have engaged in robbery and street crimes. Sometimes, students who are hell bent on protecting their phones by engaging in a struggle and fighting when being attacked get killed in the process.
The increase in phone theft amongst students has subjected many students to walk around with smaller phones.
8. EXPOSURE TO UNDESIRABLE THINGS
In this modern day and age, cell phones have exposed many students to a lot of UNDESIRABLE and unwholesome things. Social media is filled with not numerous things that have misled youngsters and students. Access to phones have exposed many students to drug addiction, destructive sexual habits and some have gotten into fraud, scamming unsuspecting victims of huge amounts of money. Sometimes, students still fall victim to these fraudsters.
9. CYBER BULLYING
Before the existence of cell phones, threatening and tormenting was restricted to physical and verbal affairs but currently, with the existence of more sophisticated phones, it has taken a new dimension. Cyber bullying has been on the increase.
Students have utilized their cell phones to humiliate and blackmail their fellow students and educators. For instance, on daily basis numerous terrible videos of either where a student was gang raped, a teacher losing his temper or even nudes of students have become a trend on social media. Sometimes, some of these victims who are not emotionally and psychologically strong end up committing suicide.
10. PEER PRESSURE
Mobile phones are status symbols amongst students. Those who have the resources to get an expensive phone are seen as the bigger boys and girls of the school. Oftentimes, those who can not afford such phones are pressurized to get such phones by all means. Sometimes, these students unknowingly get themselves into costly problems.
Phones have given rise to unnecessary competition amongst students. This is peculiar to all students regardless of class and level.
With the level of techy students in existence, cheating is unavoidable. With most smartphone features, the potential for cheating has grown exponentially. Clever students can subtly look up answers to test questions using search engines or online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia. Careful monitoring and supervision may reduce this to the nearest minimum but there is still room for students to get mischievous.
Even the smallest of cell phones can be used for cheating and examination malpractice amongst students.
The use of mobile phones by students is an issue that has left many sitting on the fence. While the phone has a lot of advantages, it also has a handful of disadvantages. Due to the advantages , it has been difficult to outrightly stop students from making use of cell phones.
Disadvantages of cell phone usage including, distractions from staying, disruption of classes as a result of phone calls, unnecessary competition and pressure, increase in thefts, cyberbullying and crimes, exposure to undesirable habits, health risk, unnecessary spendings of data bundles, etc can not cause the advantages such as easy and constant communication with family, friends and colleagues, easy and fast dissemination of information amongst students, assess to study materials for serious students and dedicated students, etc to be tossed aside.
The disadvantages of cell phone usage can only be checked. This calls for school authorities and parents to set rules and regulations guarding the use of phones by their students and wards respectively.
Phones have made students and have destroyed students. It’s all a matter of choice.
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Chioma Oparah is a very talented and passionate freelance writer that has dedicated her skill in helping young minds to self-discovery. She has 4 years of experience in the field of content writing.