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Students and Cell Phones

Emily Williams

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How do students spend their time online?

       When you walk the halls of Algood Middle School, you’re extremely apt to see at least one student immersed in the world on the screen of their mobile phone. No matter what time of day it is–in the morning while at their locker, switching classes, at lunch, or at recess–it’s something you’re going to see no matter what, thanks to the new set of rules surrounding the pocket-sized electronics. With such a device on hand, access to generally any piece of information is right at your fingertips, so what kind of information do most students access?

       First of all, just by looking around, I can see that many of Algood Middle School’s students have a strong tendency to use their phones for things other than studying. For example, most of us know of the strict policy against using social media while at school. The rule upheld itself at first, but, be that as it may, it wasn’t long before several kids started to break it. While I agree that there are various, more enjoyable things to do than study via cell phones, there are quite a few things that we could do other than use social media. To find out what sorts of other things others do to pass the time, I reached out a few of my friends for comment, as well as made a few simple observations.

       The question is, “What do you usually do on your phone while at school?” Unfortunately, not everybody provided a response, but

  • Q: “What do you usually do on your phone while at school? No need to give too many details. I just need a general idea.”
  • A (1): “Watch YouTube or, like, listen to music.”
  • A (2): “I know it’s lame, but I guess I just check the news.”
  • A (3): TBA
  • A (4): TBA?

       Moving on–while at school, I’ve noticed quite a few things. (What I believe is) the Snapchat interface is something I see on a daily basis, and Instagram feeds aren’t uncommon, either. A good amount of phone users, myself included, can often be seen wearing earbuds or headphones, whether they’re listening to music, watching YouTube, etc. On rare occasions, I happen to notice the site Google Docs, and I’ve spotted kids designing presentations on Google Slides. Another school-related application that has caught my eye, albeit far more often, is Google Classroom, which is utilized by the majority of students and educators alike.

       One of the more obvious things I’ve picked up on is mobile gaming. I recognize a lot of popular games, such as Fortnite, but I also see quite a few more obscure titles from time to time. A fine example being Helix Jump. This elucidates the impression of boredom that is visible in the majority of us, and that’s fine. A final finding of mine is my peers having a conversation, more commonly in text format, but I see calls pretty often, too.

       There is no general category for what all everyone seems to be into at the moment, but, with confidence, I can draw attention to the final analysis that a considerable number of kids, despite the aforementioned policy regarding such sites, are invested in social media during school hours, but also predominantly in gaming. Interpersonal interactions outside of social media are also rather noticeable. Likely, there are varying amounts of uses that I have yet to explore, as well. This article may be continued at a later date, but for now, this is Emily Williams of AMS News, signing off.

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