Cell phone use is causing mental health and educational struggles

Over the last couple of years there has been a growing issue with the mental health of pre-teens and teenagers regarding phone usage. In recent months, the issue has drifted into finding health consequences linked to excessive phone use. Studies have found that brain development and attention span are suffering from such excessive usage of phones.

Cell phones are seen as a distraction, but also a tool to assist with learning. Schools have turned to technology to give out lessons and to keep their students engaged. With technology all around us, some schools allow students to use their phones in class for research purposes. 

Cell phones are used not only as a form of entertainment but also as a line to which parents can maintain a relationship with their child, no matter what. 

Recent research has found that smartphones affect students in their academic life by affecting students’ learning and memory. Studies have been conducted with students who excessively use their cell phones opposed to those who do not. The results suggest that those who did not use their cell phones and were not in the presence of them had higher recall on their tests and scored higher than those who did use their cell phones. 

It was also found that cell phones affect sleep in teens and pre teens. InnoHealth magazine found that, “Having a mobile device at hand can also end up with insomnia in children. They’ll feel tempted to check it at night. They won’t be able to sleep properly because of its vibrations and beeps. This can cause sleep deprivation, which can lead to serious mental health problems in children less than 19 years of age.” 

At that age, children need all the sleep they can get in order to grow and help their brains develop. When the proper sleep is not allocated, the brain starts to become affected and issues start to arise.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Excessive usage of cell phones was common during the night, leading to sleep disturbances leading to perceived physical ill-being, exhaustion and symptoms related to physical ill-health.” 

Dependence on phones is causing pre-teens and teens to depend more on their phones causing changes to their lifestyle and habits. 

Other studies have indicated that there is an association between cell phone dependence and childhood obesity. It may also be eating habits or home life that can also contribute to these issues, but cell phones tend to disrupt a person’s eating habits and cause them to make choices that they would not otherwise make. 

Due to the pandemic and the state of our country with mass shootings, parents are pushing their children and teens to have cell phones so that they can stay in contact with their child. Cell phones are used not only as a form of entertainment but also as a line to which parents can maintain a relationship with their child, no matter what. 

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us to form interactions and communicate with others online rather than in person. Turning to social media and video calls in order to get through the day has affected people’s attention span and the amount of time they spend on any given task. Some have lost that mentality and others are holding true to that same idea and have carried through the excessive use of their cell phones. 

The problem is not using cell phones, but rather the fact that it is easy to fall down the rabbit hole of scrolling. Parents should have a more active role in their children’s usage of social media and usage of their cell phones itself. Because of the overuse and the effects on their children’s mental health and physical health, parents need to step in and control their usage in order to take care of their child. 

Whether you see cell phones as good or bad, this issue with excessive usage in teens and pre-teens is starting to not only affect their mental health but also their physical health. Be on the lookout for excessive usage and make sure to take action before it takes over. 




Featured photo courtesy of Ron Lach, Pexels