9th Reading Forum

Cell Phone Addiction Article Response

Please post your response as a reply to this discussion.

Read my model response below—it is meant to be a model for formatting and length.

Use the following prompts to guide your response:

What surprised you?

What confirmed or contradicted what you previously thought?

What is your relationship with your cell phone like? How do your parents/guardians feel about your cell phone use?

Respond to one of the claims made in the article.

In order to receive credit, your response must include the following:

1) At least one direct quotation from the article to provide evidence for a claim you are making, and

2) A direct reference to someone else's response, either in agreement or disagreement. This reference should mention the student (or teacher) by name and should be included in your own response.

I'm putting my response here in the directions to make it easier for you to read. You're welcome.

Right now, my phone is on the bookshelf, charging. I feel no pull, no sense that a part of me is missing with it not being within arm's reach. But I am writing this on my laptop, while I listen to a podcast, with seven other tabs open (Tweetdeck, school and personal gmail, Google Classroom, the database for the Cybils book award I am judging, National Weather Service, and the Premier League Fantasy soccer site). I sometimes leave my phone at home when I leave for school, and I sometimes leave my phone at school when I leave for home. This doesn't bother me at all. But if I left my laptop at school, I'd drive back to get it. I'm not addicted to my phone. I may be addicted to my laptop. 

I was not surprised to hear that many teens feel they spend too much time on their phones; I have heard this from my students, and as a teacher and coach, I've seen it firsthand. And I was not at all surprised to hear that more parents than teens feel their teens spend too much time on their devices—both because of the differing generational experiences with mobile devices and the tendency of adults to always feel the younger generation wastes time on things that aren't important. I was glad to see the article quoting adults who acknowledge their own digital addiction, as I hate that adults pretend our culture's digital distraction issue is only an issue for the young people. 

GG Benitez was quoted in the article as being "praised . . . for her 'immediate response' to texts, e-mails and social media posts," but also admits that the "need to be connected can be taxing." I feel the same way at times—I'm crap about even seeing texts that don't also come through as messages on my laptop (see above leaving my phone behind), but I do try to respond to e-mails and Twitter notifications quickly. I feel that with so much of our teaching being online, I need to be available. But at times I wish we didn't have to be so digitally available all the time.

I often wonder what life is like for your generation and even younger kids, many of whom have never known a world separate from digital distraction. Do you think of the digital technology as separate from your experience of being human? Or is it just part of who you (and we) are now?

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