Possessing a personal mobile phone is a boon or bane for the school students

by Gurneet Kaur

How many of us remember the time when life existed without the use of mobile phones? I think there is hardly anyone who does not possess a mobile phone. It not only helps us keep in touch with our loved ones but also do a thousand other things. The most amazing thing about mobile phones, are it is suited for people of all ages, be it a little kid who enjoys playing angry bird, to the grandma who loves listening to morning prayers on the smartphone. It is a device which has something of value for all ages.

Mobile Phones Students

Photo credits for cover photo to David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Addiction to Phone especially the Smart Phones

But lately most of us have become addicted to mobiles phones. This addiction is defined as spending more than seven hours a day using the phone and experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and depression when cut off from the device.

 Such is the addiction in our nation that 49% of the citizens are willing to give up their television set for their Smartphone. According to the study, kids spend roughly seven hours a day on mobile phones, televisions and gaming consoles. 

A survey by ASSOCHAM

In an all India survey conducted by Assocham Social Development Foundation under the aegis of its Social Development Foundation on “Who’s kidding?: A Rising Trend In Metros” . The survey was conducted in 10 major cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and Jaipur, involving 2500 tech savvy kids (an equal number of both male and female) were randomly interviewed by an Assocham team.

ASSOCHAM Survey Highlights:

It was found that nearly 82% of kids aged 5 to 14 years have some kind of electronic device, especially in metropolitan cities.

Assocham Survey Mobiles

 One-fourth of teenagers admitted that their quality of sleep is affected by leaving on the TV, video games, or computer — highlights the survey.

 Excessive use of mobile phones makes teenagers more restless and can exacerbate sleep problems and stress," said Dr BK Rao, chairman of Assocham health committee.

He further said that youngsters need to be informed of the negative effects of excessive technology use on their sleep-wake patterns, attention and cognitive problems and the associated serious health risks. It builds up tension from being constantly connected which creates the stress and disturbed their sleep.

Top Mobile Activity of Children ASSOCHAM Survey

Mobile Phones: Some of its benefits for students

These days we hardly find a student who does not have a mobile phone. All thanks to the advancement in technology, students use this small gadget for numerous purposes like keeping in touch with parents, friends, chatting, social networkings etc.

Today students are constantly on their mobiles phones talking to their friends on Facebook, Whatsapp, BBM or reading about latest events around the world or doing assignments. All thanks to Smartphones, students do not have to carry anything with them when they are on the move. All they need is their mobile phones with the latest features.

There are numerous apps in the smartphones specially catering to the needs of students. Here is a list of few apps which all students must try because these mobile phone applications put words, books, and knowledge at their fingertips.

Few good mobile phone apps for students

  • Dictionary.com
  • Chegg
  • Wikipanion
  • General Knowledge App
  • News Apps- Like TOI, ET, nDTV

Teachers way to keep in touch

These days teachers also keep in touch with students through mobiles phones  and social networking apps.Schools such as Guru Harkrishan Public regularly send text messages to  parents about their ward being late for classes, pending fees or or general feedback about the student’s performance. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between teachers and parents and eventually leads to benefit the student.

Keep in touch with Parents

Mobile Phones also play an important role to keep in touch with parents during classes and tuitions. For the parents who are working, This device is the only way to connect with their children. There are schools which make an exception for such students and let them it.

Are Mobile Phones really helpful?

The debate has been going on since the past few years on whether the students should be allowed to have mobile phones or not? There are a large number of students who carry their mobile phones to schools. The main reason parents give mobile phones to their children is during emergency, it makes it easier for them to keep in touch with their kids and know their whereabouts.

 Ban imposed by various governments

 The government of India has taken sufficient steps in this direction to ensure that a ban is imposed on the carrying of mobile phones to school, with states like Kerala leading this ban. Schools across the nation have also taken strict disciplinary action against students who do not follow the regulations in compliance with the government Rule.

 Big Distraction in Schools and Tuitions

 There are no second thoughts that mobile phones are a big distraction in our places of study. Students hardly pay attention to what is going on in the class as they are too busy surfing the internet or updating their status on Facebook. The entire purpose of paying a fee and learning something new is defeated as the student does not pay attention and the efforts of the teachers go in vain.

 Harmful Effects on Health

 We all have been reading those articles about how much these phones harm our health.

  • Increased risk of diseases -It not only leads to increased risk of heart attack, impotency, headache, neck pain, muscular pain, but also increased risk of stress in students.
  • Prolonged usage of mobiles leads to short-sightedness as we are constantly looking at our mobile screens.
  • Also the harmful radiation of mobile phone leads to cancer in the long run.
  • There is a constant urge to keep ourselves updated on the social networking sites, talking long hours on phones without realizing the harmful effects of the same.
  • There are so many cases of students complaining of problems caused by prolonged usage of mobiles.

 Children are at a higher risk- Suggested by the study

Mobile Phone study

A new way to cheat?

 We have all seen how Munna Bhai was Using mobile phone to cheat in his exams. Students have started using it as a means to cheat during exams and project submissions. One can find answers to all questions using Google so no one wants to make the effort of actually sitting down and working on assignments. We have seen so many cases of frauds using Mobile Phones. Be it the exams in any nation, mobile phones are being used for cheating. The students caught cheating has to bear the consequences of misusing the phone. Some students were caught cheating in Uttarakhand Ayush Pre-Medical Test using the mobile phone.

There are other disadvantages as well:

  • With more and more attractive phones around in schools, there are good chances of phone snatching/theft. While this is applicable to any attractive or expensive item but it can be dangerous for the phone owner because snatcher can go crazy and/or may use some weapon. 
  • Studies take a back seat as students spend most of the time on the Mobile phone.
  • Relationships take a back seat as everyone is so busy on their own mobile phones.

Role of Parents in the correct usage of mobile phones by their children

 Shows like Gumrah on Channel V have numerous episodes showing how mobile phones are misused and create problems at an early age. The easy access to internet through this device is also not right.Parents need to keep a track of what heir kid is surfing on the net and who are they talking to.

 Parents and teachers should play an important role in bringing this change in students. Cell phones should be used as a tool for learning and development of our personality.  There can be no “right” age to give the kid his first mobile phone but still one should not get one before they are in 10th standard and responsible enough for their actions plus to understand the device’s impact on their studies if not handled well. Teachers must discourage parents from giving mobile phones to their children at an early age.

 Keeping in mind all the disadvantages stated above, one must NOT forget that children are at a greater risk than adults when it comes to mobile phones.The best way to deal with this situation is to capitalize on the good thing about having a mobile phone and refrain from the bad ones. We must learn to balance the usage of the mobile phone and focus on studies.

Photo credits for cover photo to David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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