Cell phones have taken our country by storm, leading pathways to self-destruction. You might be laughing right now, but it’s perfectly clear that cell phones are no laughing matter, and the problems continue to rise. Beginning with distracted driving, I can write this story every year and the majority of people will continue to do the things they shouldn’t do. I’m sure the aggravations felt on our roadways have something to do with cell phones, whether it’s texting, talking, or trying to find an address while using the cells navigational app…you will one day drive behind an automobile swerving lanes, possibly driving under or over the speed limit, but once you approach their side at the light or stop sign, you will notice their head buried down into the ‘infamous’ device we call the ‘cell’ phone.

Discussions about children and cell phones are also a concern; “at what age do you feel it’s appropriate for a child to have their own phone?” Beginning with preschoolers, I find it unbelievable that these kids know how to maneuver their way through apps, not to mention other types of gadgets that come with them. As parents, some want their children to have them… in case of an emergency. But if we’re being honest here, I don’t believe that they need them until their tween years, and shouldn’t need them on a full-time basis. We are creating more problems by letting the younger generation have access to our cell devices, meaning they become so attached that when they grow older, they eventually will take them to bed with them; another problem in today’s society. Then there are the classroom distractions; from grade schools to colleges, snapchatting to Facebook and other social sites…it’s endless. It’s taking education down a notch, and that’s not a positive outcome. Studies show…that according to assistant professor Richard Murphy, at the University of Texas at Austin, cellphone usage has become disruptive and more distracting than ever. Banning these devices makes for a better classroom all the way around. Test scores actually improved among the lower-achieving students, along with ability to help pass final exams. We need our kids to pay attention today, and adding this small device in their lives doesn’t help their learning or coping skills in the real world.

Cellphone distractions for adults in the workplace also prove to be a problem, as there seems to be a lack of productivity for some. According to the Harvard Business Review, hearing that familiar buzzing sound can hurt the employees overall performance, especially in a full-time demanding job that requires one to multi task throughout the day. Technology plays an important role for many, but while it can boost productivity in some ways, newer research finds that it hurts in others. A few examples of employee disruptions would be…meetings, cellphones/ texting, noisy co-workers, gossiping and even emails. With so much going on in the workplace, it’s easy to see how people get sidetracked during their days. Distractions such as these can have a negative affect when it comes to the quality of work, not to mention harming employee relations with one another, including their boss.

The multipurpose use of cellphones is a great advancement in technology; however it has come with some negative affects along the way. Driving with these devices has proven to be deadly, over and over again. Families and spouses also suffer the negative influences; just walk into a restaurant and see how many of them no longer talk to each other, as they bury their face down into their phone. I’ve watched parents bring their kids to a sporting event and never get out of their car because they’re too busy on their cellphones instead of watching their child play. This is heartbreaking to watch; if only we could change things and bring more awareness to these problems. There seems to be no real solution, but as individuals we can express our feelings and thoughts with one another and set some simple guidelines for ourselves. Try to put the cellphone down (or away) for certain activities each day, and enjoy the company of friends or family by engaging in conversation. It’s time to take back our lives a little more and smell the roses. Let’s not be a part of the problem, let us be the solution.

Make your week count.