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Prohibiting smartphones: a reasonable educational choice?

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As a parent, it's only natural to be concerned about your child's academic success. And although these days, most teenagers have a smartphone, it is still reasonable for parents to worry about seeing their children growing up with their faces glued to the screen of a smartphone.

Lately, some schools have chosen to ban smartphones in class outright. Is this an outdated or knee-jerk decision? Far from it. Research shows that the use of smartphones has a negative effect not only on the academic performance of students but also on their psychological development.

According to a British study published in the Center For Economic Performance, depriving children of their smartphones in class would be equivalent, from the point of view of academic performance to adding one hour of learning time per week. The lack of concentration caused by the usage of the phone is a leading cause of why British teenagers perform poorly at school compared to students who do not use a smartphone. In fact, the same researchers found that smartphone-deprived students' scores were 6.41% higher than others.

The American psychologist, Jean Marie Twenge, found that the use of smartphones disrupts the social interaction of teenagers. She blames the smartphone as potentially having “killed a generation” by changing all aspects of the lives of the teenagers - “from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health." She adds that such electronic devices are isolating teens because young people are losing the habit of meeting their friends in real life, preferring the use of social media. The use of smartphones also appears to have a negative effect on the emancipation of young people.

While a smartphone is an object capable of the best and the worst, choosing a school that forbids smartphones may be the same as offering the best condition for your child to achieve the highest standard of academic and self-development.