Teens, Phones, and Focus

Lexi+Schilowsky+checks+her+phone+in+the+classroom.
Lexi Schilowsky checks her phone in the classroom.

Lexi Schilowsky checks her phone in the classroom.

Lexi Schilowsky checks her phone in the classroom.

Chauncey Humphrey, Staff Writer

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At the Roy J. Wasson Campus most, if not everybody, has a cellphone. On their cellphones people usually have a favorite app. According to Trystan Harris, a former Google Product Manager, most people who have a phone are addicted to them. Computer Engineers who design apps for phones, know how the brain works. They write code to trigger the brain to want more of the technology that we crave. Harris TED talk video was shared with Bijou student and staff followed by discussions of phone use in school.

The typical person checks their phone every 15 minutes. Every time someone puts down their phone, and doesn’t check it, it can trigger anxiety.  This is because the person is thinking about what is on their phone. This means that phones are keeping people in a continuous anxious state.

Harris references Snapchat as the number one texting app for teens. Computer Engineers created the app with bright colors to amuse users and to keep them on the app longer.  Snapchat created “streaks” to entice teens to keep coming back to the app.  The longer teens are paying attention to the screens, the more money Snapchat makes.  They are selling teens attention to the screen.

Students find it hard to focus because of these constant distractions of technology. This makes it difficult for students to ignore or put down their phones while at school. An app called “Moment” lets people set a daily limit of device usage and alerts them when the limit is exceeded.  In that app is setting that “forces” a person off the phone when the daily limit is exceeded.

This is important because this is a bad habit to be caught in.  Teens are so stuck on their phones that they lose productivity in school and on the job.  To be successful teens need to learn to control the phone and not have the phone control them.

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