You might be shocked to learn but this isn’t a one sided debate.
We thought it might be but in our What Gen Z Actually Do Online report 40% of young people told us they think mobile phones should be kept in lockers during class. While it may be surprising that nearly half of the world’s first digital natives want to be parted from their smartphones for hours five days a week, it actually makes a lot of sense.
So what’s behind the increased interest to switch off at school?
Social media distracts from learning
With 48% of Gen Zs saying they feel addicted to social media, access during school time makes distraction from schoolwork inevitable.
“We are crazy about social platforms,” an 18-year-old male from NSW said.
“And while using them we neglect school work, extra-curricular activities and even friends and family.
“For some, this can be a contributing factor that disrupts their school/homework routine. Many young people even begin failing at school and can become addicted to social media and online gaming sites.”
While Gen Z know that social media platforms are designed to be engaging, their ‘all consuming’ nature makes it difficult to stop – especially in class.
“Time flies by without you realising,” an 18-year-old female from NSW said.
“It also fuels the growing number of young people with attention shortages or deficits because we’re constantly exposed to short form content that’s ready-made, kinda like fast food.”
The need to curb cyber bullying
Gen Zs have well and truly levelled up schoolyard bullying.
Gone are the days where more easily-intercepted paper notes containing abuse or harassment were flung across the room. Now, Instagram DMs, Snapchats and Facebook messages pingpong across classrooms away from the prying eyes of teachers.
And when school’s out the bullying often escalates – sometimes with devastating consequences.
“In years 6 to 7 I was cyberbullied online through direct messages on Instagram,” an 18-year-old male from Western Australia said.
“This eventually spread to a hate group-chat being made about me which put me in a very bad spot. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression because of this event and had to move schools that same year.”
After hearing all that, doesn’t banning phones from classrooms seem like a no-brainer?