Phones Are Not Really The Problem….Right?


Alisson Worzella, Hour 5B

“It’s because you’re always on that phone” Have you heard this phrase come from your parents when you do something wrong? Although phones can be distracting they can also be helpful in a teens life. Many teens argue that phones make them happier so why should we take them away? Parents have said that it is harder to parent now because of it but parents can learn how to work with the kids and their technology. 

Parenting Now Vs The Past 

First, parents feel that parenting is much harder now because of the use of electronics. According to Pew Research Center “When asked whether parenting is harder, easier or about the same as it was 20 years ago, larger shares of parents (66%) – which includes those who have at least one child under the age of 18 – say they believe it is harder today for most parents.” Do parents feel that it is harder to parent nowadays because they did not grow up with the same electronics as their kids? The parents who did not grow up with a phone don’t understand why their kid might need one because they did not have one when they were growing up. It is a different day in age now where teens and kids might need phones. For example Mrs.White (mother and teacher at SPASH) states that “she would get her kid a phone because her son likes to go fishing by the river, and he ends up roaming around a lot and she would feel more comfortable if he had a phone where she could reach out to him.” Phones help kids communicate with their parents when they go out and can help to communicate when a kid could be lost or in trouble somewhere. Nowadays the world is more scary, it’s changing and people are way more nervous then they were in the past. Even if phones are causing a distraction or problems, parents can have rules and restrictions for their kids’ use of phone time. They can also have different punishments like taking their kids phone away for a bit till they get their things done. In an interview with Izzy, a junior high student, she had her phone taken away because of bad grades she has had and not doing her homework. When a kid misbehaves you can take their phone away. When their phone gets taken away they know not to make that same mistake again because they want to keep their phone. 

Teens Argue Phones Make Them Happier

Although taking away a kid’s phone can help with listening, taking them away can also be a problem. There are many teens that argue their phone makes them happier. For example Alexius Mancl (Student at SPASH), states that texting her friends on her phone makes her happier as well as watching or making TikTok videos because they help her express herself. Parents think that social media has a bad impact on their teens but these statements and others have proven that when teens are on their phones they enjoy talking to their friends and it makes them happy. A lot of teens also have different apps like TikTok that let them express themselves and just enjoy watching videos that could calm them and make them happy. Sometimes phones can also bring out the creativity in children. According to Izzy she gets inspired to paint or draw things because of apps she has on her phone. There are different apps on your phone that you can paint or do different things which help teens try something new and could possibly bring on a new career for them. Phones can also calm teens by listening to music they like and just relaxing. In my personal experience my phone has made me happier and calmed me down when I wanted to relax after a long day of school. It also helped me find the idea of editing videos which sparked a big interest and I could possibly have a future career with it. 

Phones Can Distract Teens 

Even though phones can make kids happier and make them calmer when they maybe had a bad day it can distract them as well. According to Alexius, her phone can be a distraction during school work because a lot of teachers don’t really care and don’t really take away their phone when she’s on it. A lot of teens have a hard time focusing in school because of their phones. They have different distractions like TikTok or Snapchat when they want to talk to their friends. This will end up dropping their grades if they do not pay attention in class which will cause their parents to get upset because of bad grades. When teachers do tell students to put their phones away though a lot of times teens do not listen. If teens cant learn how to manage time it will be harder in the future when they have jobs. Mrs.White thinks that after high school nobody is told to put a phone away and teachers are trying to manage that distraction in high school. She has walked into a classroom where phones were banned and kids were still using them. School though is not the only place where phones can be a big distraction, it can also be at a home where they are too distracted and dont spend a lot of time with their family. This can also be the opposite way where parents don’t spend enough time with their children. According to Pew Research Center “A majority of parents also report that their phone can get in the way of spending quality time with their children. Roughly seven-in-ten parents (68%) say they are at least sometimes distracted by their smartphone, with 17% saying this happens often.” It is already hard enough to raise a teen but if both parents and teens are also on their phone it will be harder to communicate with their children. They both are distracted by their phones and end up not being able to have a great connection which could affect them in the future. 

Although parenting could be more difficult nowadays because of the use of technology, it makes teens happier so parents can learn how to work around it. It can be a big distraction for children in schools but do we ever talk about how big of a distraction it is for parents as well. How can we stop parents from feeling that phones are the problem in every matter when a kid does something wrong?