I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that college students are spending more and more time on their cell phones, but what might surprise you is a recent Baylor University study found that college students spend an average of 10 hours a day using their cell phones. This is an astounding number of hours considering college students are also spending time in class, working on homework, participating in extra curricular activities and socializing. The research reported that college students use their cell phones most to text, send emails, browse the Internet and listen to music.
The fourteen hours a day college students aren’t on their phone they are still exposed to technology when they complete classwork on a laptop, watch television, or use a computer to browse the Internet. This “technology overload” may be detrimental to the frontal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for developing good judgment. This is especially concerning for college-aged students as the frontal lobe is not fully developed until age 25. Overuse of technology can also lead to distractions that will hinder learning, for example, texting during class.
There is no clear answer to this dilemma but parents can help by making sure we are teaching our children about the negative implications of technology overuse. College is a time when adolescents need to learn problem-solving skills and conduct themselves independently. The lessons we can impart early on will serve them well during their adult years.