Anna Evans is a retired teacher, and she has experienced the effect of sleep deprivation on the performance of pupils in the classroom. Anna says that children who come to the school tired are often irritable, emotional and have a hard time retaining what they are taught. Anna says she believed parents have a responsibility to make sure their children don’t take their smartphones with them to bed because they are so addicted to social media they would rather Facebook than sleep.
It is common knowledge that you are endangering your lives and that of other road users when you text while driving but has you ever considered the consequence of chatting during class?
This act is pervasive among school children and common among parents. A mental addiction to social media has gripped the world, and the harmful effects of this bad habit resonate loudly in almost every fabric of our existence, including the education sector.
To be honest, can you count the number of times you have had to check your smartphone in the last hour? In fact, you may be reading this post on your mobile device right now. School children, especially preteen and teenage students, are among the most vulnerable groups being impacted negatively by social media. For many parents and their children, regularly checking their phones helps them to multitask and achieve more in less time. But is this the case?
Research shows the opposite is true. In a 2017 study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, researchers discovered that contrary to popular belief that you can get more done by constantly checking your phone, this behaviour reduces the availability of cognitive power for other mental tasks. The researchers found that having a smartphone within reach decreases a person’s power of concentration. The researchers asked a group of students to leave their phones in another room while another group were told to bring theirs into the class and put it in silence mode and faced down. The students that were not without their phones performed better on cognitive tests than the group who had their phone with them, even though it was silenced and faced down.
This study shows that it is detrimental to allow students to use their phone during school hours as it distracts from the learning process. How do children concentrate in class when they are continually refreshing their social media feeds, taking selfies, sharing posts, and liking pictures?
In another study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield, the results of the study showed that children who spend long hours on social media are less happy about practically every area of their lives. That is really scary.
The researchers found that the more time children spend on WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, the lower their level of happiness about their school, their school work, their life, family life, and their appearance. The only positive of social media on them was that it makes them feel happier about their friendships.
According to the findings of another study, one in five schoolchildren stay up at night chatting away their sleep time on online social networks, resulting is sleep-deprivation in school the next day. The researchers from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data (Wiserd) surveyed 848 school pupils on their social media habits and how it affects their sleep time. 22 percent of pupils in year 8 and 23 percent in year 10 said they practically woke up every night to use social media.
As an increasing number of children aged ten and below continue to have access to smartphones and tablets, the almost addictive use of social media can disrupt their sleep patterns, resulting in tiredness, potential health challenges and inability to participate in school activities effectively. Parents, teachers and administrators must find a way to control the scourge of social media among school children. It makes them live a double life, deprives them of sleep, makes them unhappy, and reduces their learning ability.