Are cell phones ruining our brains?

The question of technology

Mackenzie Banks, Reporter

Cell phone addiction is becoming a very concerning problem in the 21st century. At Battle High School, students were misusing phones in class. Since students were misusing phones the school administration turned off the WiFi to all personal devices.

Battle counselor Rebecca Wallace says the new policy was to help create engagement   in the classroom with fewer distractions. 

“Phones are giving teens unlimited access to all sorts of information and it can be detrimental, because they might not be understanding the misuse and it can be very addictive,” Wallace said. 

Kim Presko, principal, expressed that last year 1500 office referrals with the word “phone” were given. This includes referrals on technology misuse, insubordination, and classroom disruption. As of Nov. 8, there have only been 178 referrals with “phone” in the description. 

Presko and administration had decided to turn off the WiFi to limit distractions in the classroom.

“To limit the amount of distractions in the classroom, we turned off the WiFi for all personal devices,” Presko expressed.

Presko also added that phones are not the problem, but instead what’s on them. The social media and texting features are among those that can be damaging to a student’s mental health due to an increase in bullying.  

Wallace added that the cell-phone addiction has gotten out of hand. 

“I can’t imagine how hard it would be without them. We rely on them too much to create friendships and community. We don’t spend enough time engaging with one another,” Wallace said.

The addiction stems from a chemical, Dopamine, that releases happy feelings throughout your body. When you’re on your phone, Dopamine will be released and will make your body have a “feel-good” feeling every time you use your phone, according to a Harvand article titled, “Dopamine, Smartphones, and You.” 

Trevor Haynes, author, states that nearly 73 percent of people experience anxiety due to lots of technology use. The article also says that the average adult will spend two to four hours tapping, typing, and swiping on any personal device per day. 

Teens and adults have become so dependent on phones that some users feel the vibration in their back pocket when their phone isn’t even there. Another thing the article mentioned is that it’s not the actual smartphone that is making teens and adults addicted, but the hyper-social environment. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media plays a big role in hyper-social environments. 

Because of the amount of smartphone usage, it has caused increased levels of depression and anxiety, poor sleep quality, an increased risk of car injury or even death determines how we act every second of every day, according to the article. 

Apps and settings in your phone can limit the amount of time you spend on social media. To learn more,  visit your phone settings.