Cell Phone Addiction: Is it a problem?


8:40 am, first block on a Wednesday. Cell phone pockets empty, all of the devices out and on. From the desk, you could hear the games and tik toks. The concentration on the class was at its minimum and after minutes of cellphone use the teacher snapped, “All phones in the pockets please,” he asked in a stern voice.  Suddenly the room was full of movement as students hid their phones in backpacks and sweatpants rather than hand them over. They could not let go if r their most precious possession.

People have found themselves with an addiction that doesn’t allow them to stay away from these machines, they use them all day every for every need. It is a problem, a problem that is taking away their attention and time in the moments where it’s needed the most. This is not something that is only found in articles or stories in the news, this addiction has gotten to the Columbus School as teachers and administrators have placed their attention on phones and how they are affecting not only the students’ learning but also the teachers’ ability to develop a class in an efficient and timely manner.

“I do feel like phones are a major distraction, oftentimes they can be a useful tool, like when a student’s computer is discharged, then it can be used as a backup electronic. Great way to access information. However the majority of students use them to text their friends and look at Instagram, so I do think it’s a distraction to learning,” Kurt Garbe, High School English Teacher, said.

A Global Issue

Cell phone addiction is cataloged by multiple parents and psychologists as an overlooked addiction, it’s with all of us but none notice it or even see it as an issue. From this new medical terms have risen, terms such as Nomophobia (The Fear of going without your phone) or Textaphrenia (The fear that you can’t send or receive messages) 

Medical professionals are still reluctant to assign the word addiction to anything other than habitual substance misuse, even compulsive gambling is considered a behavioral addiction. Similarities between these 2 addictions include loss of control over the behavior, persistence, or having real difficulty limiting the behavior, tolerance, the need to engage in the behavior more often to get the same feeling, Other severe negative consequences stemming from this behavior such as withdrawal, or feelings of irritability and anxiety when the behavior isn’t practiced promptly. 

According to addictioncenter.com, 6.3 percent of the world population  (443 million people) is addicted to their phones, most of whom are minors who aren’t able to control this type of addiction.


 At The Columbus School, phones are affecting one of the most important parts of our development, not only affecting our learning but also the way teachers develop their profession. 

Multiple teachers at the school agree that phones have become a distraction in class, making students underperform in multiple areas due to the lack of attention during class mostly due to phone usage shifting the student’s focus.

“I just think that it takes the focus away from whatever we’re actually doing in class for some moments of time,” Garbe said.

Teachers and administrators with the current cell phone situation at school, not only that but they all seem to have a clear angle on what they should do to solve the issue is (Using the cell phone pockets)

“I think that trying to ban them probably is not the best solution, but I think for next year we need to be more consistent as to how we are going to be using them in the classroom, probably demanding that everybody use the pockets, ” Juan David Lopez, High School principal, said.

Even do the school is not on the path to banning phones from school many specialists and teachers from around the world believe that banning them is a clear solution is the case of the website www.ipl.org which says “Cell phones are a very big issue for a learning environment and should not be allowed to be brought into school. Cell phones are distracting, useful for cheating, and also can be easily stolen.

Many students and school psychologists disagree on this issue because they believe that phones are not only a way of entertainment but also a tool that students can use to help themselves at school

“Technology in service of education and when utilized correctly can have many benefits, and the cellphone as a device allows the person to access all of the benefits of technology,” Ana Isabel Garcia school counselor, said.


The issue with dealing with cell phones now is that students have established a trend and an opinion to phones in class a trend which consists in keeping their phones during class

This started when we came back from the pandemic with a higher dependency on phones and when this dependency was allowed to continue at school we became so used to a phone that taking them away from us will be almost impossible

“Sadly I moved away from the phone in the pocket policy, which I never should have done. I thought we could be a little more responsible with it, and once you’ve kind of established a trend as a teacher it’s really hard to go back, ” Garbe said.

At the end of the day, the solution to this issue is in consensus where both students and teachers agree upon what to do with these precious but at the same time harmful devices that accompany us in our day to day.

“I would say that cellphones are the key to the cyberspace in your hands, and can be used as a wonderful tool and as an incredible world to explore, but it still has plenty of risks, giving us two faces of the same coin,” Andres Rendon, HS School Counselor, said.