Technology Affecting Teens

Tali Amjadi, Staff Writer

TaliAmjadi staff writer Most teenagers nowadays own a cell phone. Behind all of the excitement of this technology, there are some deeper thoughts and feelings about how they really feel about phones. Students share the positives and negatives of phones, the school policies and affecting relationships with friends and family. (Story continued on second page).

“Phones have made life so much simpler and easier especially as a teenager in high school,” freshman Lindsay Barash said. “At the same time, I think a lot of people in high school are also too obsessed with their phones and have a hard time staying off of them — which is kind of frustrating.”

Freshman Nicki Ogden said phones are very useful for everyday life and have helped her a lot over the years.

“It can help you a lot with your school work [and] makes it really easy to communicate with adults and family and keep you up with people you don’t see very much,” Ogden said.

Freshman Jack Berg said he does not go along with this idea as much.

“Phones haven’t really benefited me much in the past,” Berg said. “They are great for communication with others, but as far as just being on it for fun, I don’t really see the big deal.”

As far as Blue Valley policies go, a student can have his or her phone out as long as the teacher is OK with it. A student must use the technology respectively, or else the teacher has permission to take it away or tell you to put it away.

“I don’t think students should have the ability to choose whether they can be on their phone or not during a lesson because some students might not know how important the information could be for a test or quiz and miss a lot of important information,” Barash said.

Other students have a different opinion.

“I think the student should have the choice, and I think it’s the person’s decision on whether they want to succeed in the class or not,” Ogden said.

Berg said he doesn’t think students should be able to control themselves with devices in class.

“A lot of students would distract the class easily because some people wouldn’t be mature or focused enough to know when to have it out and when to not,” Berg said.

Jessie Green, 8th grade PRT middle school teacher, said students should be able to be trusted with their devices to a certain point at this age.

“It depends on the student,” Green said. “If [the students] can control themselves and be mature about it, then they should have that option. If not, the teacher should know if the class can handle it or not and make that decision to either allow them their phones or not.”

Ogden said her phone has been one of the main contributing factors to her organization in school and keeping up with all her classes and work.

“I personally really like to have my phone out in class, because even though sometimes I will get carried away, it does provide a lot of resources for me when I need them,” Ogden said. “Sometimes when I don’t have my planner, I will put the homework on my phone. I also have apps like Google Docs, [Google] Drive and the StudentVue app, so it helps me catch up with all my work and classes.”

According to, 78 percent of teens, ages 12 through 17, own a cell phone. People share their experiences with these devices and how they affect their relationships with people.

“I think technology has had a really negative effect on friendships because it really does pull people apart, and when friends are together they are just constantly on their phone instead of doing something or talking,” Barash said. “When I see adults having a conversation, they are not looking down at their phone the whole time. I think it’s because we are teenagers that we are doing that — it’s what we are used to doing.”

Ogden said all these devices are the main focus now when hanging out with another person instead of focusing on the person with you.

“Cell phones just kind of get in the way of life a lot of the time and really doesn’t let a person look around them and see what is going on in the world because they are looking down at a screen 24/7,” Ogden said. “It is saying to the person you are with you do not want to be with them, and it is always an awkward feeling.”

According to Wikipedia, cell phones have harmful effects on young teens brains and eyes. Phones take away everything that could be happening while they are on that screen all the time, Berg said.

“I wish phones were never made because, whenever my [extended] family comes over for holidays, all my cousins stay on their phones. We can never have any fun because of it when we should be having a good time,” Berg said. “They are so into their electronics instead of doing things with your other cousins.”

When cell phones seem like the most important thing in a person’s life, deep down many students actually wish things were different, Ogden said.

“I do wish cell phones were never invented, but teenagers need to get a grip a little bit and know when to be on it and when to not be,” Ogden said. “It just gets really annoying and out of hand when all my friends are becoming addicted to their phones, and I can’t really do anything about it.”