It isn’t zombies who want to take your brain. It’s cell phones. When you are out, look closely around you. It’s hard to find people without a cell phone in their hands. Ever since the creation of the smartphone, cell phones that can do more than just “phone” have become a must-have for everyone around the world. They are our instant gateway into the internet without needing a big ‘ol computer, and their perfect-for-pockets size makes them even more appealing. Try sticking a laptop in your pocket.
With all the greatness that comes from the cell phones, there is a little evil hidden beneath that thin hardened plastic of a shell. They pull your mind from the real world into the world of the Internet, eating away at your mind while you begin to lose awareness of the real life happening around you. What may have seemed like seconds was a large amount of time stolen from you by the illusions of the cell phone. That important class lesson you were supposed to pay attention to is now over. You missed it. Cell phones have become a distraction for college students, affecting the classroom environment.
They’re on the students’ lap, in their hands, and on the tables before them. Cell phones cause interference between the educational lesson and the student, preventing the students from taking in the beneficial knowledge that will help them succeed from that point on. Within no time, college will become an episode from “The Walking Dead. ” Things change. Sometimes that change is so slow and casual you don’t even notice. You just automatically adapt. A few decades ago, you wouldn’t have thought that Starbucks would become a globally popular coffee place.
Now it’s normal to see a Starbucks at the corner of every block. That kind of change is something that requires you to actually pay attention and look, realizing what has become different. There is change that can be found in education, specifically the classroom. My father started taking college classes for fun and for him it was a completely different feeling from when he went to college back in the day. He told me about his adventures in the classes and that, “Everyone else around me is so invested in their phones.
Why bother going to class? People choose entertainment over education, stating that class lectures are boring and lame. Teachers are not there to entertain you, they are there to educate you. I think that’s what surprised my dad the most. How he was the only one in the class who made an effort to care about the subject he was being taught compared to back when everyone in his first college classes were there ready to absorb information. Spiritual leader and writer Malcolm X served time in prison, educating himself with only a dictionary in order for him to read and understand the books in the prison library.
He became invested in reading. The more he read, the more he learned, which made him wiser. Malcolm states in his essay, “A Homemade Education”, that, “In fact, prison enabled me to study far more intensively than I would have if my life had gone differently and I had attended some college. I imagine that one of the biggest troubles with colleges is there are too many distractions,…. ”(Malcolm 99). If cellphones and technology were as advanced as the are now back when he was in prison, what would be different if he was given a cell phone instead of books?
In prison, he was cut off from the world and all he had was books. But if given a cell phone, I believe that he would succumb to it like every else who owns the latest smartphone. He probably wouldn’t become as influential person as he is know as now because of such a small device. Now, back to the possible distractions Malcolm brought up about what would it be like if he went to college, I believe if he went to college at this current time, a cell phone would be added to the list of distractions for him.
If cell phone could be able to distract the spiritual leader and writer from education, then clearly it would a distraction for college students as well. Our future is becoming less like The Jetsons and more like the humans from Wall-E. In Wall-E, humans live on a cruise-like space ship. They sit and get around the ship in hover chairs, too unhealthy to move. Before them is a holographic screen which they look and listen to for all of the time they are on the space cruise up until the end of the movie.
Our technology is constantly evolving, but will it evolve to the point where we end up like the humans from Wall-E? Cell phones have already become an important part of our lives and is making us lazier. The human race is becoming attached to our screens much like the humans are in the animated movie. All we are missing is the space cruise. Texting has created simpler lingo, abbreviations for words instead of writing the words out. “Talk to you later” has become “ttyl”, “I love you” as become “ily”, and “I don’t know” has become “idk.
Sure, if you’re in a hurry but also need to let someone know something it’s quicker, but what happens when we become so adapted to using abbreviations that it fully replaces the real words? Martha Brockenbrough, both a writer and a teacher, brings up the point that this “instant messaging” lingo all depends on context. She states that we’ve been always simplifying words all along, explaining that, “ The last time you hailed a taxi, for example, you used a shortcut….. The unabbreviated term for it is taximeter cab….. Even “cab” is an abbreviation for “cabriolet” (Brockenbrough 149).
Brockenbrough makes good points in her article about how “there are times and places where shortcuts are okay…”(Brockenbrough 150) when speaking about how abbreviating words and not uppercasing letters can save time, but what happens when our shortcuts become so overused in our daily life that it becomes more of a challenge for us to write formally? What happens if students spend more time texting than paying attention in class so all their essays end up looking like “omg phones r gud 2 have fyi. Lol. ” This is a bit of an exaggeration, of course. For right now at least.
But we can’t determine for certain if this actually becomes true or not, or how far away in the future if it will. Imagine if you answered all your homework and wrote all your essays as if you were texting them. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my smartphone. It has many uses, such as keeping in touch with friends and family in a more instant way. It’s a calculator, alarm clock, calendar, newspaper, mp3, bank, library, camera, and computer all in one. Its games and social media outlets help me pass the time. But much like everyone else, I am addicted to it.
I have a desire to check it every five minutes. If I feel a buzzing of vibration in my pocket I have to take it out and check it. I feel like I can’t go anywhere without it. My phone has stolen a majority of my attention for the real world for itself, and I know I’m not the only one. New Technology High School is a school I attended for high school. With words like “new” and technology”, you can expect its requirement to implement technology into everything. From smartphones, to tablets, to laptops. At least one of each is a requirement, and their uses do become relevant when in the classroom.
For instance, in my Political Studies class, they had online games (some which you can play against other classmates with) that had to do with the relevant topics of political campaigning, implementing laws, and how to plan a business. Another example was the excessive use of Google Docs in every class, allowing a team of students working on the same document at the same time for a project. All of these worked well, for the most part. But these were also distractions. There wasn’t enough strictness on what students were and weren’t allowed to do, so there would be a few who would play games and watch Netflix right in the middle of class.
While the techniques were beneficial in some ways, students still found ways to unfocus from the lessons. It’s not like we don’t know cell phones are a distraction. We are very much aware of it. But some college students just let their cell phone control them. In 2012, an article was written by Arnold D. Froese along with fellow other authors about surveys and research about students who use cell phones in the classroom, stating that,”Many students admit to using cell phones for social networking purposes in the classroom” (Froese, etc).
So if students know that they are distracting themselves, how can they be stopped? It’s not only that, but by getting caught in the cell phone web, they are hindering how well they do in class. The article tells about how an experiment was done in a class to see how well students who were to text during a lecture and that, “Ellis, Daniels, and Jauregui (2010) most directly assessed the effects of texting on performers in a real classroom context….. Experimental students scored significantly lower than control students did on a pop quiz at the end of class.
Although this experiment comes directly from a classroom setting, sending a text message to a teacher who does not respond is likely not as distracting as a conversational texting dialogue”(Froese et al. 325). Cell phones are clearly a problem for the future of education. We need a way to fight back. So how do we fight off this horde of zombie phones? Cell phones prevent college students from learning. They eat at our brains while we want to become educated. These plastic and electronic rectangles of evil transport us into the dark dimension of the Internet, stealing precious time from our lives.
It’s so hard for college students to focus in class because of this. Restrictions and rules for cell phone use may be a great help for college classes, helping increase the attentions of the students and their focus on important subjects, but it may be tough for the students to get used to. If there was a way to implement cell phone use into the class for only uses relating to the current topic, I’m all for it. But at this moment, the only way to fight off these brain-eating devices is to regulate and restrict use of them. No zombie phones alowed in my classroom.