Are teens too distracted by their phones during the school day?

Originally published at: Are teens too distracted by their phones during the school day? | Boing Boing


What does it say about me, or my country, that the first downside I think of when contemplating a school cellphone ban is that kids need their phones in case of a school active shooter?

I think they could be within easy reach, though. The teacher keeps the bag? Everyone has their own bag in/at their desk? :man_shrugging:


put their cellphones in a locked pouch during the day …[follow kindly link]… The pouches, designed by a company called Yondr, can only be unlocked using one of several wall magnet devices placed around the school building.

“wall magnet devices”? oh the nerds’ll have a (neodymium) solution to that (next to their pocket protectors) in about seventeen nanoseconds. but yes… teens are too distracted by their phones. perhaps a ‘hat check’ at the entrance would be better. (“but how would they get them for lunch-time then?” well, concentrating on what to eat on the tray might not be such a bad thing either)

(“ey my cellphone is too big to fit inna pouch!” “just do what i do, bring a ‘burner’ phone for the pouch”)


We all need to put them down more so this helps.


One of my neighbors is a pilot for United. Part of his job is assisting with training new pilots and using the Simulator or it was maybe for entry in the Union I don’t recall exactly. He told me that he was just astounded at the number of “new” pilots that will NOT stop using their phones.

He was in the simulator with one cocky kid who was STILL on his phone, and when he told the kid (We are old, everyone is a “kid” to us) to put the phone away the kid said “I CAN MULTITASK”. This was the one kid that didn’t pass. I don’t understand why they can’t just ban the phones there period. Perhaps they really really need new pilots in a few years and are willing to gloss over it as long as they pass the exams?

Also - “A Few Years” is when I plan to stop flying.


I have a 26 year old coworker who is about to be fired because he simply cannot leave his phone alone. At this point I think he needs addiction counseling.


Make the schools into Faraday cages.


It’s been many decades since I was in high school, but many students really don’t want to associate with those other humans. I often traveled the halls reading a book and sometimes bumped into other students. (Peers? Really?) This is just the same recycled argument against “new things” that occurs every other decade or so.

Speaking Season 3 GIF by The Simpsons


Make the schools into Faraday cages.

The school I work in has abysmal cell service, so it’s already like a Faraday cage, but there’s free wi-fi throughout.

First, it’s not just “during the school day” - there have been polls where appalling numbers of teens admit to waking up to check their messages several times each night. Also: it ain’t just the teens, of course. The amount of time teachers - especially the youngers ones - spend staring at their phones during, say, recess duty, or responding to texts while they’re supposed to be teaching - it’s a disaster. Go to any playground - kids are playing while their parents are ALL staring at their phones. We are teaching these kids that adulthood is all about screen time, and reality is a distraction from TikTok.


Obligatory xkcd:

“2060: The gregarious superintelligent AI, happily talking its way out of a box, is fast becoming a relic of the past. Today’s quantum hyper-beings are too busy with their internal multiverse sims to even notice that they’re in boxes at all!”


There is some truth to this, but also social media and games etc are skinner boxing us to be constant dopamine addicts. I’ve felt it, my kid knows she has a problem sometimes, teachers I know say that it goes beyond the old doodling, talking, or reading in class.

Everything in moderation, etc.


I highly recommend this book, which, as I understand, has a companion workbook that walks readers along the steps to take to distance themselves from their phones,

A teacher friend shared with me that the #1 excuse kids give for using their smart phone during his middle school class is, “I was just responding to a text from my parent.”


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As a middle school teacher, I can verify this. Kids are addicted to their phones. They have trouble working with written text because their eyes are so trained to read a screen. They also don’t know how to identify sentence structure because most of the text they interact with is texting/social media. Even when handwriting, students don’t capitalize or use periods. There’s also the fact that even when they are banned, the kids are dealing with withdrawal symptoms as we are trying to teach them. It’s a much more serious problem than this post is describing.

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You need to put it at

the beginning and the end
of each paragraph

*doing it with a hard return in the middle

does not work*

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