Our Cell Phones


Alvani Generillo & Heather Krell, Staff Writers

How many times have you checked your phone today? Most of you will say a lot because let’s be honest, we are always on our phones whether listening to music, answering text messages, or even just looking at the blank screen. You might even be in your bed on your phone right now reading this, but have you ever really thought about how being on your phone all the time has really affected your life?

Phones have been used around the world by many people and they use them for many different reasons. It could be using them to keep in contact with family, friends, or for school, but no matter what the reason is it can always turn into an obstruction and end up taking time away from your social life. Fifty-three percent of people in the United States now have phones by the age of 11, and at that age, it can be a problem while in class. When we got HHS English teacher Mrs. Ward’s opinion on phones in the classroom she responded with, “teachers have a hard time competing with phones.” Even students have agreed with this statement. When asking underclassmen Nick and C. the same question they said, “…students get distracted.”

Speaking of kids getting their phones at a young age, do you remember the age when you got a phone? I would bet it’s not as young as children are getting them now. In a recent study 1 in 5 people have gotten their phone at age 8. When children get a phone at that age, they will learn to rely on it all the time, and then just like everyone else, they get obsessed with it, but at an age where they should be spending time outside and not staring at a screen. Many teachers and students seem to agree that children should be getting them when they are older and when they are much more mature. When we asked Mr. James (AP U.S. History teacher) how he feels about children getting their phones at such a young age he answered with, “I don’t think children should have a phone until 9th grade. I think they aren’t really mature enough in middle school to handle a phone.” We got a different response from a senior, Taylor Turley, “Around middle school I think would be a good age.”

Phones seem to always be around, and it feels like nowadays we see everyone with a phone. Most people cling onto their phones as if they were a security blanket. It’s kind of like that stuffed animal that you would carry around as a child and refuse to let go because it made you feel happy or safe. Phones are like that for everyone – well mostly everyone. When you are in the store, the park, or the hallways of your school you see a majority of people with their phone in their hand, but are they using it? No. They have a tight grip on the thing that they feel completes them, and one second without having it on them they go crazy. Teachers and students seem to have a different view on this though. Ms. Ward had told us that she believes, “Students are generally on their phones.” but the student, Taylor Turley said the opposite, “I think it’s a safety blanket…it is comforting.” We got one more opinion on this though, the guidance counselors. Mrs. Thorp and Mrs. Cathro had agreed with both Ms. Ward and Taylor, and said, “It’s some of both…for some students it’s a security blanket and may want to keep it safe, and others check their HAC.”

If you would guess that students’ screen times would be a lot higher than adults, then you would be correct. When we took a survey, we saw that the average for students was around 6 hours a week, but many have said it had gone down ever since school started back up. Most staff members have said 2-3 hours a week, but we did have one outlier amongst the staff, and surprisingly it was Mr. Weber with 7 hours a week!

Within your average screen time, the most time might have been spent texting. Have you checked who was the last person you texted? Or how much you text a certain person? When it comes down to it you most likely text someone more than you actually talk to them it could have been during class or during lunch for some people, but most of the time you only ever talk to that “friend” through texts.” Just over one in ten (12%) say that they send or receive more than 200 messages on an average day—that equals 6,000 or more messages per month.” (https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2011/09/19/how-americans-use-text-messaging/)

Of course, texting can be helpful like talking to a friend or relative who lives too far away. Even during quarantine, it was a great thing to keep in touch with your friends. But you need to know when to cross the line, plan to hang out and instead of being on your phones the whole time go outside or play a game, or even just talk with someone.

Along with texting being one of the things most common activities on a phone, a lot of time spent is on social media, whether that be Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or any other app. When you are looking at others’ posts it could really wear you down and you may start to feel self-conscious about the way you look, dress, or even things you do. Ever since social media really started to become a thing it, has taken a toll on people’s mentality about anything. From the source, GuardChild (https://www.guardchild.com/social-media-statistics-2/) “41% of teens had a negative experience.” and “22% of teens lost their friendship with someone due to actions on social media sites.” A lot of the time social media is fake and comparing your lives to someone else’s is almost pointless. Social media can be a good outlet to just relax and temporarily forget about your problems, but you can’t let it take a negative turn.

There are many mixed feelings about phones, positive and negative, but it’s really all about how you manage yourself with them. The next time you feel the urge to pick up your phone maybe think about what you could do instead or the consequences that might happen in the long run.