by Amanda Ellsworth, Staff Reporter

Inventor Reginald Fessenden made the first wireless phone call on Dec. 23, 1900.  Fessenden transmitted his voice via radio waves, sending a signal from one radio tower to another. This invention birthed what is known as the cell phone.

Recent research has unveiled that behind the screens and keyboards, youth are becoming more dependent on cell phones. The attention and time spent causes distraction from the growing world around them.

According to a Pew Research Center study, 88 percent of American teens have access to a mobile phone. 92 percent of teens report going online daily, with more than half claiming to go online several times a day.

“I check my phone about every five minutes not because my phone has a notification, but it has become a habit to look,” freshman Sabrina Roberson said. “Sometimes I unconsciously grab for my phone without realizing it.”

Nomophobia or no mobile-phone phobia is the urge to constantly check your mobile device and to have feelings of anxiety when not in the presence of your phone. This isn’t a self-diagnosed phobia; more and more, cell phones are becoming an issue in this generation and has researchers looking for answers. Out of 800 teens, 58 percent of students attend schools that ban phones still text during class.

Cell Phones cause issues where students’ undivided attention is necessary, the classroom.

“Phones are only valuable in class if used for curricular purposes.” science teacher Gretchen Davis said. “While I am instructing during the class, cell phones aren’t allowed to be out because students should focus on the lesson.”

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin say banning phones in schools is equivalent to extending the school year by five days. It has been proven that by removing cell phones from a class setting, students’ grades are more likely to improve. A Edutopia survey concluded that 54 percent of students who text during instructional time lessen their literacy skills.

“Daily, I probably get on my phone over twenty times a day.” junior Don McQueen said. “Although I only get on it when the time is right, class time isn’t the right setting and class deserves undivided attention.”  

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) gives students the opportunity to use their cell phones during class for educational purposes. This slight bend to school rules allowing for phone usage in class is easily taken advantage of, and students throughout McEachern use this to reply to a message while caring less about the teacher’s lecture.

“When BYOD is on in class, I’m usually on Snapchat or Instagram,” senior Noel Southward said. “BYOD to me is just an excuse for me to use my phone without getting in trouble.”

Removing cellphones from the classroom is in the best interest of the students and their success. The rules made by schools against phones are in place to facilitate a quality education. By banning the use of phones during instructional time, distractions will be eliminated and allow for better focus.