Cell phone detox: students in withdrawal

Lexie Carchedi, Veritas Staff

Think about how many times you have looked at or used your cell phone in the past twenty four hours. Now imagine not being able to use your phone for that time.

Would you be able to do it?  Pop culture teacher, Mr. Brian Smith, assigned his students an experiment to do just that: not use their phones for twenty four hours.

Smith gave his students this assignment on January 7. He did this to show how dependent students were on their phones and to allow them to “experience the ‘withdrawal’ away from their phones.” He also wanted them to “benefit from experiencing, just for a small moment, the lack of full connection to their phones.”

All of Smith’s students were required to go twenty four hours without using their phones, unless they had to make an important phone call. They could not text, tweet, use any apps, or use any social media.

Students were allowed to pick which twenty four hours they wanted to as long as it was within a certain time frame. During this time, they had to keep a journal, writing down their thoughts of the assignment and when or if they cheated. If they did not participate, they would receive a zero for two quiz grades.

Many students originally had negative feelings toward this assignment. However, during the assignment and towards the end they realized this assignment was helpful because it made them realize that their generation is too dependent on their phones.

“For the first second it [the project] scared me because I didn’t want to get a zero for two quiz grades,” says senior Taylor Lambrinos.

Jared Ochenduszko, a sophomoresays that he first thought “this project [was going] to be hard because I constantly use my phone.”

Students also found this assignment easier than they originally thought.

Lambrinos says, “Afterwards, I realized it wasn’t really that hard at all because I was distracted with school and work for most of the time.”

Students were not the only people to participate in this assignment. Smith also participated and came to the same conclusions his students did. He even found the project mildly frustrating.

“It was frustrating. Not responding to texts and having to call people back is something we’ve gotten away from. People communicate more via text than by actually making phone calls. You get a group message and you can’t call every single person back so that was frustrating. But it wasn’t incredibly difficult,” says Smith about his own experience.

After the assignment, students became aware of what Smith wanted them to get out of this project. Many students came to the realization that our generation has become very dependent on our cell phones.

Freshman Lyndsay Norris did not enjoy the experiment.

Norris says, however, “It taught me that people rely on their phones way too much.”

Agreeing with Norris, Caitlin Yannizzi, sophomore, says, “I learned how overly dependent our generations are with our phones.”

However, Ochenduszko says, “Everyone needs to have a phone or else they feel left out if something happens on Twitter or Instagram that everyone is talking about.”

Overall, one day without a cell phone has taught some RHS students and one faculty member how dependent and important a cell phone can be to them.

Now just imagine if they had to do the experiment for a week or a month.

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