Phones In School, Moving with Societal Progress

The stress of the pandemic prompted a slew of unfamiliar changes in the day-to-day operations of students’ lives. While some rules were made far stricter – including mask wearing, social distancing, and quarantining – others were relaxed in the process, forgotten in all the chaos of pandemic life; these laxed rules have made it even more difficult to adjust back to the “normal” lifestyle. 

The most notable rule that LHS students seem to have forgotten is that cellphones are not allowed in classrooms, nor in the hallway. For students and teachers alike, the use of cellphones in LHS has increased substantially since the beginning of the 2020 school year. This raises two questions: Are we all more addicted to our phones now than ever before? And, is this something we should worry about?

“When leaving class, I feel the need to check my phone out of habit,” said junior Daniel Votano. “It’s really not on purpose. I just pick it up!” 

Junior Ava Schwam echoed a similar sentiment, commenting that she and many of her classmates are addicted to their phones, and that cell phones are “essential to modern day communication.”

The use of phones in school mirrors a famous psychology experiment by Ivan Pavlov, who is best known for his studies on conditioned reflexes. Pavlov tested the response of dogs to a bell and how they could be trained to respond to the bell after conditioning. This is highly comparable to the ding of a cell phone notification, which triggers one to pick up his phone without a second thought. 

There is no reason why schools should not follow suit with progressive society, turning more and more towards technology. The three or four minutes spent passing from class to class are often the only time students are able to conveniently check their phones, and they have become used to contacting each other through this matter during these specific points of the day for nearly two years now. 

“When we are not learning, it’s seen as so unacceptable to use our phones,” said junior Ava Murello.

Although phones should not be used during classes, as they take away from the general learning experience and are a distraction, in-between periods is the most accessible time for students to connect with peers, friends, and family in a timely manner without disrupting their own and others’ education. Therefore, it is not a problem that cell phone rules have relaxed during the pandemic. It should remain this way for the foreseeable future for the good of all LHS students.