Are cell phones more of a help or a hindrance?


Staff writer Ryan Beck (The Inquirer 2010)

Take a look around. Whether you’re in class, or on your way to or from class, you will see roughly the same thing: people on their phones.

However, these people are probably not placing a call. They are texting, surfing the web, checking out Facebook or maybe all three at once.

Texting has become such a common occurrence in class that teachers have had to take extreme measures to reduce it. A history professor of mine, Brazell Carter, made his students turn off their phones and place them on his desk every time we entered class.

Cell phones have become such an integral part of so many lives that when they “die” or we leave them at home (by accident of course), many people seem to feel inadequate in some way, as if they are not fully functioning members of society. In short, we feel naked.

Many of us need those constant updates from other people. It’s hard to resist checking our Facebook feed to find out what others are doing at that exact moment. We have that nervous tick that makes us check to see if someone loves us enough to send us a text message in class.

I’m not saying cell phones are all bad. They’re convenient when it comes to getting things done quickly. Sending out a text on a Friday, to see what friends are up to, can sometimes yield a quicker response then a series of phone calls.

But when they become such a necessary part of your life that even when you’re with other people, they’re constantly in your hands, it’s time to acknowledge that you have a problem.

Every once in a while, it’s good to cut yourself off – to completely sever your connection with that constant stream people love so much.

So, I present you with this challenge: every so often, log off your Facebook, turn your phone on silent, make some “face time” and actually pay attention to those around you.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something.


Contact Ryan Beck at [email protected]