Digitally Dominating Your Life: Having phones out during study hours has a negative impact on student’s ability to retain information


Isabel Copeland

With the quick ring of a new notification, Senior Julian Gallegos ignores his calculus homework in order to respond to his friends.

Julian Gallegos, Staff Writer

Finally sitting down at your desk after a long day of school and practice, the stacks of homework yet to be completed are headache-inducing. Just as you are picking up your pencil, the red iPhone placed on the corner of your desk buzzes, revealing a single Snapchat notification. Shortly after, the screen lights up again. Who could it be? Your curiosity gives in as you unlock your phone to see it’s just your friend asking for information on the homework assignment you have yet to complete. Many students fall into the familiar trap of becoming easily distracted by electronic devices for times reserved for other activities. Especially during school hours, a quick peek at your phone seems very tempting. Is this just a coincidence or are these apps designed to guide our attention elsewhere?

The obvious answer is that it is not a coincidence at all. They are designed to draw the attention of the user, slowly luring them in like the blind fish they are. Phone applications work like advertisements. The more colorful and inviting they look, the more clicks they will receive. The more clicks that they receive will lead to more popularity. We all know how the modern era works, more popularity equals more money, especially due to the competitive nature between software companies. 

Phones can be a very useful tool; however, we must learn how to control ourselves and have enough strength to put them down every once in a while. While doing homework the positive effects of phones are heavily outweighed by the negative effects. We cannot allow these thin sheets of metal and electronics to control our lives and efficiency. We must not become slaves to what we invented.

Some things we can do to prevent this effect phones have on us is taking action and turn them completely off. Obviously, we will not want our phones to be powered off all of the time but it should be done in moderation. If it is a time when you are supposed to be learning, powering off the phone will only be beneficial and help you succeed. Also, while at home designate a time to work on homework. During this time the phone should be powered off or in another room completely to block out distractions in order to maximize efficiency. That way homework will be done quicker and the rest of the day can be enjoyed. Using this technique can also be useful when having family time. Less time on the screen and more time creating bonds with loved ones will increase happiness and quality of life.

Learning to focus on what is at hand is a very important skill in life. It may take a lot of practice, but next time you are doing homework, take that extra step and turn off your phone. You will find it much easier and more relaxing. You might even make it a habit!