It's 2018, Where do we stand on cell phones?


Yes, I totally agree Ben


Here’s something pretty cool:


I downloaded it today and started using it. Pretty fun, you create a forest as you go, and the app has some kind of paid feature where users can plant actual real trees in the world, which is awesome if you ask me.

Update: now on Day 2 of using this app. I also upgraded to the full version ($1.99) to remove ads & get access to all the goodies. Gamified productivity, pretty fun so far.


Glad you resurrected this thread. I changed the title so it can keep going. My thoughts are still evolving on all of this.


I showed my daughter this last night and she started using it right away. Later when I checked in she said, “I grew two trees.” I’ll keep talking with her about it and see if it sticks.

I feel like I’m pretty good at setting my phone aside, but it’s a cool idea for an app.


And this just in…

The World Health Organization will classify gaming addiction as a disorder in its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD).


Makes me wonder how long before cell phone addiction becomes a diagnosed disorder.

I actually just had a student tell me yesterday that if it wasn’t for his cell phone he probably would have graduated last year. This same student cannot help himself and definitely has issues with “phantom vibration syndrome” as he described to me that he thinks his cell phone is vibrating even when it isn’t. I tried to convince him to turn the cell phone off but it actually makes his anxiety worse because he feels like he’s missing out on important social interactions. When I had him put it into a calculator keeper at the front of the room all he could do is stare at the area which meant he could not focus on his classwork at all.


I wonder how quickly this would straighten itself out, or if it would take quite a while to break free?

Starting in December, I decided to make my bedroom digital free. The first couple of mornings I was surprised to wake up really early, reach for my phone, and get stressed that I couldn’t check my email. After three days, however, I was sleeping more and better and not waking up. The digital “connection” broke pretty quickly.


Natasha Adams shared an idea with the NECA team this morning regarding cell phone management. This sounds fairly compelling to me and I think could be an acceptable medium-ground between phone-prohibition and phone-anarchy / impossible tightrope walking. Here is her note:

Hello Everyone,

It seems that many of you are advocating for a system in which we partner with student to support healthy cellphone use during times of learning engagement. Toward that end, I found this link to a video that explains Yondr bags and how they are utilized in schools and concert venues.

I have used Yondr bags in past jobs, and have found they maximize people’s capacity to be fully present while eliminating people’s anxiety about being separated from their phones.


I’m in! Sadly the cost might be a huge barrier since you can’t buy the bags you can only lease them. At $30 each, per student per year, it could add up to some serious dough. What would the consequences be for student who either refuse or bring two cell phones and pouch the one that they don’t use?


Heh, that seems pricey for a pouch rental.


Hmm, interesting new article on how just the mere presence of a cell phone makes you dumber. Might have surprising implications for education.


That’s some fantastic research, and confirms things I’ve noticed and felt about my own productivity. My own experience has been identical to that of the study.

I’d bet this impacts sleep as well, as I’ve slept more and better when I keep my bedroom free of devices.


And here’s a separate recent study that produced similar results. From Harvard Business Review: Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking.