How are Smartphones Impacting us Negatively During Online Learning

Hanan Negash, Journalist

In today’s society, many students are addicted to using various forms of technology. With many ways to access the internet students tend to spend an unnecessary amount of time on social media. When students use their smartphones during online school it is mostly to check social media, text their friends, or play games. This  actively demonstrates that smartphones can be a big distraction during online learning.

In fact, when a student receives a notification from social media or a text message app, the temptation to respond can pull at your attention. Especially in these times during remote learning once your attention is on your phone you’ll miss all class instructions this can result in not knowing what to do for an assignment or even failing a test. 

Smartphone addiction can be very scary and can affect our mental and physical health. 

Our mental health

Smartphone addiction can affect your memory

 Overusing your phone can have bad effects on your memory. To illustrate when a teacher is explaining the online assignment and you’re on your phone the whole time you’ll miss the instructions and have a hard time remembering what the teacher said later when you attempt the assignment. Furthermore, students can lack the ability to absorb the information they are being taught due to distractions.

Reduces your cognitive and learning skills

Since the transition to remote learning students are dependent on technology. Learning from home can be very challenging. With the different styles of teaching, most students find it hard to understand so instead of asking the teacher for help they go on the internet. By doing this students aren’t learning anything their phone is doing the work for them. Also, nowadays answers to assignments could be found on the internet thus making students not want to try figuring them out by themselves.

Information overload

Consistently surfing the web, switching through different social media, playing games, or watching videos can lead to lower productivity during online school by isolating you for hours. Compulsive use of the internet and smartphone apps can cause you to neglect other aspects of your life, from real-world relationships to hobbies and social life.

Overall,  your phone can negatively affect your mental health in serious ways if you’re using it too much.  

Our physical health

Disturbs sleeping schedule

Unlike other devices such as a TV or a computer, smartphones can be easily carried to bed and used while laying down. This is a problem because students will lose more sleep scrolling through an app, watching videos, and texting for hours at night. Experts say that teens need at least nine hours of sleep to maintain a good school performance. With less sleep, students are most likely to sleep during online classes and miss lectures. 

Social interactions

Addiction to social media, online dating, and online friendships usually end up being more important than real-life relationships. When you’re in a restaurant, you’ve probably seen couples or friends ignoring each other and engaging in their smartphones instead. Even at home teens are less likely to interact with other family members they’ll rather just use their phones. Above all smartphones can ruin your social life by not letting you interact with people the way you should be. 


It comes as no surprise that smartphones are causing teens to become lazy and procrastinate during online classes. Using your phone while you’re doing homework most of the time leads to you not doing your homework at all instead of just being on your phone. So many students have been procrastinating with their assignments for these reasons students are turning in their assignments late or not turning them in. 

As already mentioned compulsively using your phone will result in negative consequences. 

Productive way you can spend your time on without your smartphone

Go out doors

Go outside and enjoy nature. Invite your friends and go out to the park and play a sport you all enjoy. Or try something like camping outdoors if you never did. This way you’ll interact with family and friends more while doing something you love.

Read a book

Instead of reading a book on your smartphone get a physical book. If you don’t have any, go to the library and find an interesting book.

Bond with your pet

If you have any pets, give them more attention. For example, if you have a dog take it out to the park and play frisbee or take a walk around the neighborhood. It’s important to bond with your animal more often so you can have a stronger connection and it’s a good distraction from your phone.