Betsy Burrow, Junior Staff Writer

According to Pew Research Center, in January 2018, 95 percent of the American population had a cellphone. While in December 2006, 65 percent of Americans had a cellphone. Throughout the years, phones are getting more popular especially for teens. At St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, the upper school students are allowed to have their phone on their person throughout the school day. Letting students have their phones can have many benefits and many detriments.

“When you see somebody going through the grocery store on their phone, it’s not something important, and in fact, they have done studies where a lot of people fake being on the phone in order not to have to deal with somebody coming their way,” St. Andrew’s Counselor Lauren Powell said. “I’ve done it so I know it’s true.”

There are few benefits to students having their phones during school. Some benefits of having their phones is they are able to use them to study on Quizlet. They are also able to communicate with their friends from across the campus.

“It benefits because if you are trying to find your friends you can text them,” Freshmen, Emma Brown said. “You can call them because they could be on the completely different side of campus, and you don’t know where they are. You can just text them, and there you go. You know where they are.”

Stress, distraction, and disconnection are all negative effects of phones. Stress can cause students to get behind on work and not be able to focus on what is happening. Distraction is also a factor in the negativity of phones. According to Cyndi Irons, multitasking is not a real thing and the “brain doesn’t really multitask.” The brain can only handle one thing at a time. When a phone buzzes, it distracts that student from class because they are focusing on the phone more than the lesson.

“When you have something that’s like a constant buzz or alert that can get you, and people have news feeds on it, they get work email, they get text from frantic children or frantic parents,” Powell said. “Every time you get that you get a little serge of either dopamine if it’s something fun, or adrenaline which can be kind-of that thing that gets your energy up. Cortisol if it’s something worrisome, so all the brain chemicals get stimulated by the phone. When they’re stimulated that much, it means that your brain is overstimulated. So, that’s stress.”

The phone also affects relationships. When on the phone, people have trouble making good trusting relationships because human beings are meant for face to face interaction. Phones do not give that solid interaction, so it doesn’t from comforting relationships causing social interactions to be very difficult for some teens.

“It is very addicting,” Brown said. “Sometimes instead of people communicating and talking to each other they’ll just be on their phones, so that is a negative aspect of having our phones because people get consumed in technology and social media, it can take up their day, and they won’t be able to communicate with their friends they have sitting right across from them.”

Despite all the negative effects, most teachers and students alike believe that phones should be allowed in the upper school. Whether it be maturity, the ability to study with Quizlet, or talking to your friends across campus, teachers and students think that phones benefit in the upper school. However, some teachers believe that the phones should have limits. Even with the positives and negatives, teachers and students both believe that phones should be allowed in the upper school.

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