Phones with classmates and collegues; are they damaging?

Student, Katie Snodgrass completes a creative,  advanced sculpture in health class. The massive number of shares and likes in social media distracts designers and artists from the real creative process. Instead of focusing on the production of the artwork, reviewing others’ shares and artworks consume the time and the effort required to start your own project.

Student, Katie Snodgrass completes a creative, advanced sculpture in health class. The massive number of shares and likes in social media distracts designers and artists from the real creative process. Instead of focusing on the production of the artwork, reviewing others’ shares and artworks consume the time and the effort required to start your own project.

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When students wait in class surrounded by people they do not yet know, they tend to retreat to their phones rather than introduce themselves. Simon Sinek, an author and motivational speaker, says that this is no fault of the students and warns millennials of the social dangers of overusing your cell phone. These dangers include, but are not limited to, job dissatisfaction, failure to develop meaningful relationships and an inability to properly handle stress.

Interaction with social media and our cell phones releases a chemical called dopamine. That’s why when you get a text, it feels good. It feels good to get a response from people. That’s why we count our likes. Dopamine is the exact same chemical that makes us feel good when we smoke, when we drink and when we gamble. In other words, it’s highly addictive. Through social media, an entire generation has access to the addictive, numbing chemical called dopamine.

Studies show that most people with alcohol addictions discover alcohol during adolescence. Many teenagers discover the numbing effects of alcohol during this stressful and anxious time of their lives. Unfortunately, this gets hardwired into their brains and when they discover significant stress, people do not turn to their friends and family, they turn to what Sinek calls, “the bottle.” People do the same thing with social media.

The problem is, these people who have turned to social media don’t ever form deep, meaningful relationships. Sinek says that, “They will admit that many of their friendships are superficial. They will admit that they don’t  count on their friends, they do not rely on their friends- they have fun with their friends, but they also know that their friends will cancel on them if something better comes along.” These people don’t turn to their friends when they are dealing with a significant stress and do not trust that their friends will be there for them when they need it. These people may not realize it, but this understanding saddens them and gives them the subconscious message that they’re just not good enough. Additionally, everyone involved will assume that their peers are handling their stress just fine. Since no one shares their stresses with one another, people begin to feel isolated and like their doing something wrong. Stress is normal and everyone experiences it throughout their lifetime.

Some will argue that social media is harmless when it’s used to keep up with old friends or watching funny videos. Having social media is not bad, it’s the imbalance. For example, if you’re out at dinner with your friends and you’re on your phone texting someone who’s not there, that’s a problem. If you are in class or in an important meeting and you even have your phone out, that sends a subconscious message to everyone around you that “you’re just not that important to me right now.” And the fact that you cannot put the phone away is a sign of an addiction. And like all addictions, it will destroy relationships and keep you from achieving academic satisfaction.

Now, engaging with new people is very different. When trying to make a new friend, add them on snapchat or follow them on Instagram. If you are attracted to someone, you don’t have to learn how to confidently approach them and introduce yourself.  If you find someone attractive, you’re more likely to swipe right or direct message them than to make sure to see them in person. Overall, millennials have instant gratification for anything they want. If you want to watch a show, you don’t have to wait for a new episode one a week. A lot of people wait to watch their favorite show until it comes on Netflix and they can binge watch it. Millennials can get almost anything instantaneously except job satisfaction and strength of relationships, “There ain’t no app for that,” Sinek says.

Students Michael Vecchio and Lukas Wheeler spend their homeroom on their phones. According to littlethings.com, there’s something called “screen fatigue,” which is what happens to your body when you spend too much time staring at a screen. time in front of the computer or the smartphone can alter everything from our eyes to our sleep cycles.

Sinek makes this unfortunate situation into a clear metaphor,

“it’s as if they’re standing at the foot of a mountain and they are this abstract concept called impact that they want to have in the world, which is the summit. What they don’t see is the mountain. I don’t care if you go up the mountain quickly or slowly, there’s still a mountain. And so, what this new generation needs to learn is patience- that some things that really, really matter, like love or job fulfillment, joy, love of life, self-confidence, a skill set. All of these things take time… The overall journey is arduous and long and difficult and if you don’t ask for help and learn that skill set, you will fall of the mountain.”

Sinek says that this “falling off the mountain” is the worst scenario with the situation faced by millennials. However, the best scenario is that we have an entire generation, and maybe more, that just never find joy. An entire generation that never builds the confidence to confess their attraction to a friend who could have been the love of their life. An entire generation that will never find job fulfillment because they were never allowed to develop the patience to work until they reach their goal of “making an impact.”

Of course, cell phones and mobile devices are around us everywhere. Many teachers even communicate with their students through Remind, an app that mimics texting and allows full classes to communicate with each other. A student may need to ask their parent to drop of a homework they left at home. Whatever the reason, you will need to have a phone with you in school or at home. However, you must be careful not to be on it so much that you do develop an addiction and begin obsessively checking your phone and social media. Try charging your phone in another room at night. This will eliminate your temptation to check your phone right when you wake up. Also, during class, keep your phone in your pencil case, desk or locker. When in class, you should be fully devoted to the content on the board and focus on the people around you.

Simon Sinek - Millennial's in the Workplace
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Phones with classmates and collegues; are they damaging?