Phones At Lunch

February 7, 2023

Phones Shouldn’t Be Used During Lunch

Recently, LMSD has put new rules concerning phone usage during school in place. Students are supposed to put their phones in their locker at the beginning of the school day and keep them there until dismissal. This decision has quickly become controversial. Students are protesting for the right to use their phones throughout the day, particularly during lunch. However, we should continue to limit cell phone usage during lunch due to the multitude of negative effects related to cell phones, the difficulty that allowing phones during lunch would pose for the rest of the school day, and because it is simply not necessary to give students phone time during school.

One of the reasons that phone usage was limited was because of the proven drawbacks of an excessive amount of screen time. With students already using computers in most classes, cell phone restrictions cut down on the amount of time a student spends behind a screen. Many studies have shown that too much screen time can affect health negatively. According to Active Health, eye and body strain, sleep deprivation, loss of cognitive function, decreased social abilities, and mental health problems are all related to screen time. Devices emit a blue light that impairs the body’s ability to fall asleep, which in turn causes a slew of problems. As well as this, social media overuse can lower adolescents’ self esteem, increase depression, and lead to anxiety. It’s obvious that we should do our best to mitigate all of these problems. 

Some of the aforementioned negative effects are also related to what students could be doing instead of mindlessly scrolling. Lunch is one of the few times during school that students can spend time with their friends. If we allowed students to use their phones at lunch, they would miss out on important social time, leading to students not being as socially adept. We want our students to leave school with abilities that would help them become successful in the real world. If students had access to their phones at lunch, we would be limiting their ability to develop those crucial skills, harming their entire future.

Cell phones at lunch would harm the school schedule. The transition periods to and from lunch are already chaotic enough- students grabbing their lunches or putting them away, joking with their friends, and sometimes even fighting in the halls. If we added phones to the mix, it would only become worse. Students would be distracted looking at their phones and so would not know it was time to leave for the next class, causing dismissal from lunch to take longer. Students would also be standing in the halls crowded around phones, causing a giant traffic jam. This would cause tardies for the period after lunch to go up exponentially. We all agree that students should be in class on time to maximize their learning potential, and allowing phones during lunch would prevent that from happening. 

In addition to this, it would become much harder for faculty to police phone usage during the rest of the school day. At the moment, there is no excuse for students to have their phone on them. If we allowed students to have their phones at lunch, students could- and would- use lunch as an excuse for having their phone. It’s close to impossible to ensure that every student has put away their phone after lunch, meaning that phone usage in the next class would skyrocket. Students could also simply claim that they were going to or coming back from lunch, allowing almost any student to have their phone on them during class. The possibility of repercussions for students who broke the phone usage rule would plummet. We need to continue banning phones at lunch to make sure that school will run in an orderly fashion.

Finally, students do not need to have phones at lunch. Sure, it would be nice to have access to social media or video games, but neither of those is a necessity. Students have access to a computer which they can still use during lunch. If parents need to contact their children, we have a system where they call the school office, who then passes along whatever message needs to be sent. Another main reason that students ask for phones at lunch is so that they can check social media, as they are worried that they might have missed something or just want to see what has happened. But this is not a sufficient reason to need a phone. Students should be able to last 8 hours without using their phones, especially since they still have access to other forms of technology.

In fact, not being able to last long without access to social media could be defined as an addiction. Lee Health says that social media addiction is when “an individual excessively or compulsively uses social media platforms to improve their mood.” If teenagers are addicted to social media or their phones in general, this is a reason not to allow phones at lunch. To compare, if a student was found to be addicted to drugs, the solution wouldn’t be to provide them with thirty minutes during the school day to use drugs. They would be taken off of drugs and provided with help to stop their addiction. Students feeling like they need to have their phones should be a reason to keep the current restrictions, not to give students the ability to use their phones at lunch.

When compared to the effects that phones could cause, it seems unnecessary to provide students with access to them. Studies have shown that phones can cause negative effects, so phone use should be limited. As well as this, allowing students to have phones in lunch could cause a myriad of problems throughout the rest of the day. Finally, students do not need access to phones during lunch. It is imperative that we continue to uphold the current restrictions around cell phone access during lunch.

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