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Abuse of Technology: Cell Phone, a major cause of academic decline

Many so-called blessings have made humans pay the price and cell phones are one of them

There are many ailments associated with improper and overuse of technology, cell phone in particular. Teen Texting Tendonitis is just one example.

By Prof Dr. Abdullah G Arijo

During the class, which was attended by more than 200 students, eventually, I lost my temper and shouted at the backbenchers and tried to do their counselling on not to use their cell phones and pay attention to my lecture. For a while, there was silence for a few minutes, and I continued my lecture. Hardly after a few minutes, a student stood all of sudden and said, “Excuse me sir! Some students on my left and right are chatting or playing games.”

This was not a surprise as I knew that students who are not interested in studies kill their time in class with ill activities. I decided to dosage my students and once again spent my energy twisting my students to pay their attention in class. This time, many students broke their silence, and I heard many stories as to what most students do with their cell phones in class.

The discussion became serious and finally, I asked the students “What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you recite Qalma-e-Taeyab, or first pick up your cell phone?” Majority of the students loudly said “We pick cell phone first and try to see what messages came while we were sleeping.” For a while, there was complete silence in the class, and I left class.

Progress and development in science, on one hand, have created comfort for humans, while on the other, many so-called blessings have made humans pay the price. Cell phones are one of these blessings. There are many ailments associated with improper and overuse of technology, cell phone in particular. Teen Texting Tendonitis (TTT) is just one example. Texting Teen Tendonitis is a new syndrome caused to teens who are texting a lot, often for hours a day. The affliction affects the back, neck, arms and of course, the thumbs. Symptoms include pain in all the above and numbness of the thumbs. Therefore, there is a health alert for people addicted to texting on their smartphones, which pretty much means almost everyone under the age of 30.

Overuse of cell phones or smartphones can result in several different physical problems that may cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, including digital eye strain, neck problems, and increased illnesses due to germs, car accidents and male infertility.

Recent developments and advancement in mobile phone usage have resulted in a dramatic evolution of the mobile industry. The use of mobile phones has increased so significantly that it has become one of the most dominant influences on society in current times. Frimpong and his co-workers 2016 concluded in a study to see how often students use their phones in the classroom, examine mobile phone technologies available for learning, and find the effects of mobile phone usage on the student’s academic performance. A sample size of three hundred and six was chosen for this study. On the students’ use of mobile phones in the classroom, 93.5% have ever used a mobile phone during class hours with 91.8% using mobile phones in class to enhance their understanding of topics understudy. Also, 80.5% were distracted by the phone during classes and this was in the form of visiting social media sites (31.1%), text messages (27.6%) and receiving calls (25.6%)

Overuse of cell phones or smartphones can result in several different physical problems that may cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, including digital eye strain, neck problems, and increased illnesses due to germs, car accidents and male infertility.

Realizing the concentration of damages, French authorities decide that all French children under 15 will be banned from using their phones at any point during the day. French students returning from the summer break will no longer be able to use their phones during the school day.

Earlier this summer France banned all students under 15 from using all cellphones, tablets, and smartwatches at any point during the day. That includes mealtimes. The government is concerned that students are becoming too dependent on and distracted by their phones.

While a ban on cell phones during class hours was already in place since 2010, the new law extends to breaks and mealtimes. Schools are free to choose themselves if they will implement the ban for students over 15. There are also some exceptions to the ban, such as for students with disabilities.

Banning phones in school was one of Emmanuel Macron’s pledges while campaigning for president. Under the new law, students must turn their phones off during the day or put them in lockers. Schools have also been allowed to independently deal with the logistics of how students will be kept away from their phones, the news agency said.

The law was introduced amid fears that students were becoming too dependent on and distracted by their smartphones.

French authorities, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer hailed the legislation as “a law for the 21st century,” and said it would improve discipline among France’s 12 million schoolchildren.

Using mobile phones too much in today’s fast-moving and globalized world seems to be a necessity. It is almost impossible to imagine our day-to-day life without mobile phones. It is one of the most successful inventions of the 20th century, which has become a convenient means of communication. Modern mobile phones also perform many other functions; they can substitute for such devices as music players, cameras and organizers. Most of them also provide Internet access and texting.

According to the U.N. Telecom agency, there were almost 6 billion cell phone users in the world, with almost 86 gadgets for every 100 people. There is nothing strange in this fact, as modern people need phones in all spheres of their lives, professional and personal. But we do not notice how much we depend on cell phones and what effects their excessive use might bring.

There are data to believe that there is a strong connection between cell phones and cancer. Even though the data remains controversial, most scientists agree that there is a certain threat from using cell phones too much. It is reported that people who talk on the phone for several hours a day are 50% more likely to develop brain cancer. The reason for this is the radio waves produced by mobile phones. It is calculated that every minute the human brain receives about 220 electromagnetic impulses, which are not necessarily harmful, but which affect the brain in cases of prolonged impact.

One cannot deny the sad reality that nowadays many people, especially youth, experience a lack of human contact, and they try to compensate for it through mobile-phone communication, which is not an adequate substitute for personal intercourse. Adolescence is not an easy period of life, and a young person is especially vulnerable at that time. In cases of excessive mobile phone use, there is a possibility of becoming addicted to the phone; the real world seems to fade in comparison with hours-long chats and hundreds of messages. These aspects cause psychological problems, as people start to feel uncomfortable in face- to-face communication.

In Pakistan too, just look around, you will find everyone making indiscriminate use of cell phones. In the university lecture hall, backbenchers desperately chose that area so that they can use a cell phone. Once during an oral examination, when the student, did not answer even very simple questions, I wanted to know the reason. I was shocked to know that the student was reading and replying to 1000 SMS (full package). Hold on, I said to my student and told him that if it takes him 60 seconds in reading and replying to an SMS, that means he is wasting 5 hours texting the messages and that to me can be the only reason for the decline of his performance.

Pakistani authorities must follow France and come up with a mechanism so that, indiscriminate use of cell phones may be discouraged. Cell phones may be a friend, but we have converted them into our masters. In schools, colleges, and universities, it is the major cause of the decline in academic excellence.


Abdullah ArijoProf. (R) Dr. Abdullah G. Arijo is Advisor and Visiting Professor Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Sakrand, Sindh Pakistan. Formerly, he was Chairman, Department of Parasitology, Sindh Agricullture University Tando Jam. After retirement, he also served there as Advisor Academics & P&D to Vice Chancellor. He can be reached at Email:

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  1. Exactly dr this article shows facts💯
    Due to use of mobile phone mind is constantly distracted..

    Overly dependent on mobile phones, Continues use of mobile phones can make addicted.

  2. Respectable Sir, this article shows facts 100%
    The constant use of mobile phones can lead to a loss of focus. Specially young generations

  3. Respectable Sir,
    It’s very important topic about life of new generation which is being neglected.

  4. نہایت ہی مستفید اور معلوماتی آرٹیکل سر،
    گیجٹ ایڈکشن آج کل کے نوجوانوں میں بہت عام ہے،جیسے آپ نے لکھا کہ موبائل فونز اور تمام ڈوائیسز کسی نعمت سے کم نہیں لیکن ہمارے ہاں نوجوان نسل اس کو منفی طریقے سے استعمال کر رہی،حالانکہ دیکھا جائے تو موبائل فونز کے منفی اثرات سے کہیں زیادہ مثبت اثرات ہیں لیکن ان کو کون سمجھے؟؟؟؟
    نوجوان لڑکے اور لڑکیاں بقول آپ کے کہ چیٹنگ سنڈروم میں مبتلا ہیں،
    مجھے دکھائیں کوئی یونیورسٹیز کے طلبہ سائنسی موضوعات یا کسی بھی سوشل کلچرل یا اینوائرنمینٹل موضوعات پر بیٹھ کر کوئی تحریر لکھ رہے ہوں یا ورچوئل بحث مباحثے کر رہے ہوں۔
    میں یہ آرٹیکل میرے ان سب دوستوں کو ضرور ارسال کروں جو سامنے بیٹھے ہوتے ہوئے بھی میری کسی بات کا دھیان نہیں دیتے تھے اور لگے رہتے تھے چیٹنگ میں۔
    شکریہ سر

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