Cell phones: A Blessing and a Curse | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Cell phones: A Blessing and a Curse

  • Friday, October 30, 2020
    Freshman Maxwell Taylor

    By Maxwell Taylor 

    I was at work one day and although I should not be on my phone, the vibration from a notification was all it took for me to take a look. This time, it was not from Twitter, Snapchat or Gmail. 

    This notification read: “You averaged 5 hours, 43 minutes of screen time per day last week.” 

    I was astonished by this. I could not help but approach a few of my coworkers and ask, “What is your average screen time?” 

    Their responses were all within an hour of mine. This made me think about how long five hours, 43 minutes truly is - roughly a quarter of our 24-hour-day. If I combine these nearly six hours with my seven-to-eight hours of sleep per night, that means for more than half the day, I am either sleeping or on my phone. 

    When I first got a cell phone, I was 9 years old. It was a Samsung flip phone that was to be used for communicating with family members. After a few years, I got an iPhone, which has plenty of features beside texting and calling - like social media and the high-quality camera. 

    Fast forward to my freshman year of college; I am using my phone for almost 25 percent of the day. It amazes me how much my cell phone use has increased over the years. But 25 percent of the day? That is way too much. 

    Although phones are useful for important, everyday activities like education and communication, it is important to remember not to get caught up in social media and the internet. Social media is not real life and often, people feel they need to carry a false persona to seek validation from their followers. Some have become so obsessed with looking wealthy to the point they will rent cars, buy expensive clothes and do anything they can for affirmation on social media.

    After this moment of realization, I decided to cut my social media usage in half. Of course, there are times I use my phone for necessities such as communication, but I have not allowed my phone usage to interfere with my productivity. 

    With this extra time, I have been more consistent with my (fitness) workouts and I have been able to complete homework assignments in a more efficient manner. I also challenge myself daily to resist checking my phone for certain periods of time throughout the day. This gives me a clearer head and a better outlook on life. 

    Do not get me wrong. I love Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my phone in general. There are plenty of benefits from these sites, but too much social media can cloud one's judgment of reality and overall can be a waste of time.

    Maxwell Taylor of Salisbury is a freshman in the Richard A. Henson Honors Program who is studying finance.  He produced this essay as a class assignment for an English honors course.