Research on the use of mobile phones

Mobile phones are a distraction to pupils in lessons, even if not used.
A young person’s awareness of the physical presence of a mobile phone can impact cognitive performance. Researchers have concluded that the mere presence of a phone is sufficiently distracting to affect functioning and concentration.
(Thornton et al.)

Excessive use of social media can impact negatively on mental health.
Most studies conclude that overuse of social media has a negative impact on adolescent mental health; it has been linked to poor sleep, online harassment, self-esteem issues and emotional instability.
(Millennium Cohort Study)

A ban on mobile phones in school could have a positive impact on conflict management and
Research suggests that young people who overuse their mobile phones are more exposed to online bullying and other social issues. The prolonging of social issues is made all the easier by access to mobile phones. A ban could help pupils to better develop their conflict resolution skills and avoid unnecessary escalation of peer fall-outs.
(Sheinov, 2021)

Social interaction is weakened by the presence of mobile phones.
Emotional intelligence is heavily reliant on the interpretation of non-verbal cues. The presence ofmobile phones during conversations can be detrimental to the development of quality social skills and empathy.
(Uhis et al. 2014; Misra et al 2014)

Mobile phone use can become ‘addictive’.
Young people need help and guidance to manage their mobile phone use in a healthy way. Without this, evidence strongly suggests a number of psychological and physiological consequences linked to cognitive regulation, reduced fitness and problems managing separation from mobile phones.
(Sohn 2022; Wacks & Weinstein 2021.)

Mobile phone use can affect pupils’ educational success.
Young people’s use of language via their mobile phones has been linked to a lack of ability to write with grammatical accuracy, as well as negatively impacting stamina and ambition with regards to achieving extended writing. Studies across various countries show a correlation between banning mobile phones and improved examination results.
(UK Literacy Association)

Mobile phone use can increase exposure to safeguarding risks.
Mobile phones can provide an unfiltered, peer-to-peer link that is often free from adult intervention.
This leaves young people at risk from exposure to, or involvement in: accessing unsafe content, toxic influencers, anti-social behaviour, coercion, invasion of privacy, plagiarism, etc.
(Goggin 2020; Ling 2015; NSPCC 2020)