Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Are mobile phones an addiction?

I went to Nottingham last weekend to visit my mum, and to have tea with a friend. When I left, I completely forgot to pick up my mobile phone charger, so it's still in Nottingham. I don't have a spare one, because the other half left it at a family member's house too, so I'm without a phone, and have been since Sunday evening.

Despite not having my phone, I keep feeling the need to reach in my bag and check my phone. I probably don't have any texts: people don't really text me too often, unless it's to arrange a meet up - I'm not one for text conversations for the sake of them, but I am mostly missing the apps I'm used to playing on when I have a few minutes to kill.

Being a teacher of teenagers, mobiles are the enemy to most of my lessons. I see mobile phones in students' hands all the time, and they seem to automatically look at their phones once every 2 minutes, if not more. The thing is, teenagers love text conversations, much as I love MSN in my school evenings, so they've always got a message to reply to. It seems mobile phones are the new drug - an addiction young people simply cannot do without.

teacher text image

Should we be treating these phones as an addiction? Many of my students would geniuinely struggle to give up their phones for even an hour. I dread to think how many hours have been wasted on these gadgets, when people could be going for a walk, learning a new skill, or reading a book. 

Perhaps we should make counselling classes for students, or force them to remove their phones at the front door of the building in order to break their habit. Or should we just see them as a part of life and allow them in the classroom, despite their ability to distract learners from work due to the endless number of games and apps available.  

We could try to use a placebo, by given students tablets to use in class that do not have games on, but use the same actions as a mobile phone. That requires a large amount of money to be invested on technology, and retraining of teachers to effectively use them.

Saying that, I can't wait to get back on the Sims, and Dragon Island. Can anyone say geek?

What do you think the answer is? Are you addicted to your mobile phone?


Natalie Gigi Wong said...

LOL. My iPhone got stolen last Sunday and all I can think about is how much I miss it.

I have exams next week, and my phone used to be such a huge distraction, but now its not there, its weird :(

Now I have a really OLD replacement phone = therefore, I'm definitely not addicted to THAT xDD

Lucinda Harrington said...

Aww no, I'm sorry your phone was stolen!
At least it may help you to revise though. I bet you feel really retro with your old replacement phone!

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Anonymous said...

Like... thinking of remove iphones from my kids n give them something less attractive n addictive.