You can see it in the hands of every college student. It is right next to you while you sleep. Its presence is more prevalent on our college campus than squirrels.
Cell phones, especially smartphones, play a vital role in our modern lives. With applications like Quizlet, Coursera, they can serve as educational aids. There are, however, many distractions that affect the lives of college students.
In a study done by James Roberts at Baylor University, 60 percent of college students would consider themselves addicted to their cell phones. It also noted that students spend a daily average of 94.6 minutes texting, 48.5 minutes e-mailing, and 38.6 minutes on Facebook.
In regards to evolutionary psychology, it was an advantage for humans to remain knowledgeable. Cavemen and cavewomen would have better chances of survival if they knew all about their surroundings. This desire seems to carry in modern day for humans to know everything going on around them.
Cell phones are a resource that allow us to access everything at the touch of our fingers. Whether it is world news, local events, or celebrity gossip, smartphones present various options for information. For college students, cell phones allow them to keep in touch with high school friends and family. In a study published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, people are more addicted to “checking habits” with their smart phones. Through various mediums of social media like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, they constantly check to see the latest events in their friends live. Social media bridges the distance between high school friends going to different colleges. People are more concerned with their virtual lives than their real lives. People post their pictures publicly to show how they’ve transitioned into college and how great their life is. It brings to question whether people are truly enjoying the experience or filming it just to show off to their friends.
Social media also allows students to connect across campus. Yik yak is a way for students to anonymously post across campus. Students can inform others of free food, bemoan midterms, and ask for advice. Students also use social media accounts to connect with new friends they met on campus. With friends from different colleges, people can easily talk to their friends. Groupme allows ways for O-week groups and even Rice groups to still remain in contact.
With all these various methods of communication available, it’s not surprising how students are so addicted to cell phones. The college environment suggests social media as a method to remain informed. Whether it’s for a club, the latest party, or high school friends, students have a plethora of ways to keep up to date. Because smart phones are such an integral part of campus life, students should practice moderation when using them.
Davis, S. Addicted to your Smartphone? Here’s What to Do. http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/addicted-your-smartphone-what-to-do (accessed 10/1/2015), part of WebMD
Rushlau, K. Can’t put your cell phone down? You’re not alone. http://college.usatoday.com/2014/09/05/cant-put-your-cell-phone-down-youre-not-alone/ (accessed 10/1/2015), part of USAToday