Ban smartphone use during advisee group

Opinion

Have you ever sat down with your advisee group, perhaps over snack, ready to enjoy some plain old casual conversation only to see everyone hunched over their phones?

While we all love our phones, so I’m sure this has annoyed you at least once. The benefits of limiting smartphone usage during advisory, however, extend far past aiding casual conversation.

Advisory is an important time. As one of the few moments during the school day when casually interacting with your peers is actually encouraged and permitted, it is wasteful and foolish to squander it away by staying glued to our devices.

Limiting smartphone usage offers increased health benefits and, most importantly, fosters stronger relationships between both students and teachers.

First, let’s consider health. As students we spend plenty of time already working on our devices, toiling away at schoolwork. “So what?” you may ask. “If I’m perfectly fine looking at my computer all day, then why should I bother with putting my phone down during advisory?” Truth be told, you’re not fine staring at screens for around six to eight hours per day. Multiple studies have shown that prolonged exposure to screens can cause various ailments including disruption of the circadian rhythm. Sleep quality may seem like a trivial thing to fret about, but it certainly won’t hurt you to get a few more minutes of rest per night.

Secondly, high school is all about relationships. As a teenager, you want to both create and uphold your bonds with friends, and as a student, you want to make sure that you maintain healthy connections with your teachers. Now, you’re probably already saying that “I can make friends over phones, I can simply text them!” In many situations, phones can help us more conveniently communicate with each other. However, when you’re sitting directly across from your fellow advisees, this reasoning falls apart.

“But wait,” you say, “my advisees aren’t my friends, why should I talk to them?” You’re with the same advisee group for two whole years. They may not be your friends now, but you’re most certainly better off if you attempt to kindle a link. Spending your high school career sitting around a table in awkward silence helps nobody.

You shouldn’t neglect your advisor, either. As someone who looks after you, and someone who may even be your teacher (which means they’ll be the one grading you!), you don’t want to give them the cold shoulder. Among one of the most accessible available resources for you during your journey at Kingswood Oxford, it’s an unwise idea to waste it over the inability to go 15 minutes without looking at your phone.

The idea of limiting phone usage in advisory is controversial and still has not been implemented; my own advisee group has balked at the idea and has yet to make a decision.

An idea like this, if implemented, would also come under plenty of fire by text-hungry teens. It seems like many people view missing a few messages as a fate worse than death. However, hear me out. The limitation of smartphone usage in advisory will leave you happier and healthier, two things that are far more valuable than any tweet, post, or picture.