Cell Phones and Studying: Do They Mix Well?

Photo Source: Pexels.com

Photo Source: Pexels.com

Emily Jones, Writer

As teenagers, we’ve heard the “your phone is your biggest distraction” argument hundreds of times; but have you considered how true it may be?


Everyone has their own personal study habits and opinions on cell phones impacting those habits. Personally, I can’t have my phone near me while doing my homework; I find that it’s often a huge distraction and causes me to lose my focus.


After researching and interviewing some students, I found that I wasn’t alone in my struggles.


So, what’s the science?

Of course, student opinions on this subject are very important, but so is the science behind it. At the Child Mind Institute in New York City, clinical expert Matthew Cruger speaks on a study done by The University of Chicago Press. In that study, it was discovered that “the presence of one’s smartphone reduces their cognitive capacity.” Additionally, it was found that “undergraduates asked to leave their phones in another room did better on cognitive tests than those who were asked to silence their phones and leave them face down on their desk or in a bag.” In addition to this, Cruger says, “while trouble focusing on homework is hardly something new for children, captivating new technologies aren’t making it any easier.” 


Cell phones have been designed to be as user-friendly and addicting as they possibly can be. When a buzz or notification goes off, the brain releases a small dose of dopamine; a hormone directly related to the emotions a person feels. Knowing that, you can imagine how it can be difficult for someone to focus when their phone is right beside them.


Student Perspective

I asked many students here at Pentucket about their study experiences. One anonymous senior responded “I like to think that I can multitask by doing homework and being on my phone, but in reality, I can’t. I just end up going on my phone and procrastinating” 


Furthermore, I asked junior Zoe Dunn how she stays on track while studying. She says “putting [her] phone away somewhere that requires a lot of effort to get, helps [her] to focus and lessen the urge to go on it during [her] studying.”


Additionally, I asked junior Julia Connelly if she had ever faced challenges because of her phone while studying, she says “ I often get sidetracked if I have my phone with me. I will then get less work done and the studying is not as effective because I’m not focused on my work.”

Photo Source: Pexels.com

Junior Leigha Cignetti, feels “everyone could benefit from not having their phone while studying.” She says “Phones are a huge distraction as much as we don’t want to admit it. Staying off of them while studying could help us do better on tests, quizzes, and assignments.”


To Conclude . . .

Phones, as fun and exciting as they can be, can be harmful to our cognitive abilities as developing teenagers. By putting your phone in a remote area where you’re unable to hear its’ buzzing, you may start to see your grades and attitude toward school improve. Which will be far more beneficial to your future than mindlessly scrolling on your phone.