France has banned all children under 15 from using their smartphones in school
How long can you go without checking your smartphone? I just checked mine twice while typing this sentence. You can do so many things on these magical devices - text friends, browse websites, play games, watch videos, stalk celebs on social media. The possibilities for distraction are endless.
We use smartphones so frequently they're like extra appendages. When we're forced to go without them, we feel phantom pains. Separation is agony! Has anyone texted me? Has anyone emailed me? Did Ariana Grande post a new tweet?! But it's healthy to take a break from that black mirror. And for kids, it's necessary. It's difficult to learn anything when you're watching Kylie Jenner's IG Stories (although I'm sure they're very educational.)
All across the world, teachers have taken measures to stop students from checking their smartphones in classrooms, and now one country has taken an extra step. France has banned all children under 15 from using their smartphones in school. Actually, cell phones have been banned during class hours since 2010, but this new law, which was passed in July and went into affect in August, extends the embargo to breaks and mealtimes. And don't think you found a loophole with Apple Watch; the ban includes tablets and smartwatches.
During the day, students under 15 must turn their phones off or put them in their lockers, the Associated Press reported. There is an exception to the ban for students with disabilities. School administrators can choose whether or not to extend the ban to students over 15. They also have the freedom to independently decide how to keep students away from their phones. (I bet in between classes, a lot of kids will surreptitiously check them in their lockers!)
Lawmakers introduced the ban because they were worried about students becoming too dependent on and distracted by their smartphones. "Being open to technologies of the future doesn't mean we have to accept all their uses," stated Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, Agence France-Presse reported. He praised the legislation as "a law for the 21st century," and claimed it would improve discipline for France's 12 million schoolchildren.
Maybe adults should start limiting their smartphone usage as well. According to recent reports, more people than ever are being injured by their smartphones. And we're not just talking car accidents from texting-while-driving. Between 2000 and 2011, people in the United States suffered more than 11,000 injuries resulting from phone-related distractions while walking.
At the time of injury, talking on the phone was the most prevalent activity, with texting responsible for 12 percent of the damage. Nearly 80 percent of the injuries occurred as the result of a fall, while 9 percent occurred from the pedestrian striking a motionless object, which sounds humorous, but can cause serious damage.
Maybe if students get accustomed to living without their smartphones, they'll grow up to be less addicted adults. But the most important thing to remember about this issue is...sorry, gotta text somebody, I'll finish this later.