Cell phones adopted by young generation in recent year, have become global phenomena around the world. Thus, with the emergence of this technology almost everyone has tried to adopt these cell phones. We found in this research that cell phone usage had a negative impact on students GPA. Students using their cell phone during class, they also receiving and sending text messages during their class so they were able to pay less attention to lecture and thus it had negative impact on students’ performance.
Key terms: Cell phones’ usage, Academic performance, GPA
Commercialization of cellular phone technology has increased its use in recent years. In Pakistan total subscribers for cell phones till 12 September 2012 have reached to 120,513,430 (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority). The adoption of cell phones by young generation has been a global phenomenon in recent years. It has become an integral part of adolescent’s daily life and has become one of the most popular forms of communication. In today’s world almost every student is having cell phone in their pocket, clipped to a belt, or hidden in a brief case or purse and knows perfect usage of it. As technology is growing every day at very fast rate, and is bringing positive and negative effects for society and so is with cell phone technology that has brought both positive and negative effects. It is commonly observed that these cell phones have also become status symbol for youth and they have indulged themselves in the competition of having best and most updated cell phone with maximum features.
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Today’s youth prefer cell phones more as compared to internet or any other social activity. Young people own cell phone and also want to upgrade it as soon as new model is launched in the market. Cell phones are that much involved in our life that the person who own cell phone is tend to be thought socially connected, independent, modern and in demand by the society. One of the most used applications of cell phones by our young generation is text messaging and these cellular network companies have also played a vital role in negatively affecting our young generation by introducing a number of packages for text messaging and calls also. Students of today are master in fastest text messaging and are seen text messaging while at home, at university, traveling ,in classroom and specially while studying.
Communication with fellow students, professors, parents, and everyone else is just a click away. Most of the students use it for chatting with friends. This research paper explores the impact of cell phones` usage on students’ academic performance. We examined the effect of mobile usage on the grades among university students.
“Cell phones and academic performance:
The invention of cell phone has brought revolutionary change in the world. And thus bought change in the lifestyle of people using it including students. In 2005, the number of cell phone subscribers worldwide will reach 2 billion (Deloitte Research, 2005). And in Pakistan total fixed phone subscriber by December 2011 reached to only 3,098,117, less than mobile phone subscriber that were 120,151,253 till December 2011 (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority). Surveys have consistently shown that cell phone is used and loved more than television or internet by students, whether they are using internet or watching television they are having cell phone in their hands. Through common observation we also evaluated that students need to return to their home if they forget to take it with them. Thus with the emergence of this technology almost everyone has tried to adopt these cell phones and are addicted to its usage that they think their work done become difficult without its services and they are unable to stay connected with their friends and family.
The main issue for teachers is the disturbance created in class room due to cell phone calls and texting. Combining this with the ease of hiding the device due to its small size, makes it very difficult for teachers to control it. Students are excited to find out that who has called and what the message is, young people are reluctant to turn off their cell phone during class time. Usually students kept their devices on during lectures with themselves and also sometimes forget to turn profile silent during class and its ringing create disturbance in class.
Campbell (2006) found that students and faculty view the ringing of cell phone in class to be a serious problem. It is clear that if students spend time texting, they will not be able to pay attention to class lecture, will not be able to understand the topic and will not be able to produce good result in class, this will have impact on their grade points. Through common observation it is observed that today students are busy with this technology, spends 90% of their time with cell phones and don’t pay attention to their studies. And if they pretend to their parents that they are studying in their room, they are actually dodging their parents, it is such a small device that they can easily hide them and lie with their parents. Students are trying to make as many friends whether girl or boy as they can, keeping themselves busy all day and night, as these network companies for their own profit have introduced a lots of cheap packages for call and messaging. All these activities in which students have engaged themselves in today’s world are demolishing their present and future.
After explaining negative aspect there are some positive impact also, it helps students to stay connected with their group members when assigned some group work from their teacher and can also contact their teachers in time of having any difficulty regarding their assignments. In school it also helps teacher to tell their parents about any serious problem happened to the students and also helps teacher to text their parent if they are absent from school.
Students are supposed to use mobile phones whole night texting their friends. It is interesting to note that there are few common family rules about young people’s use of the cell phone. In fact, many adolescents (58%) reported that there were no rules set by their parents about their cell phone use and only 12% reported that their parents used removal of their cell phones from them as punishment (Metthews, 2004). Probably because of the sleeping issue it has been found that parents have to take cell phone from their children at night while going to sleep. Some reported that parents had to ask their children to stop using phone at night as then students are unable to wake up early in the morning for their university, school or college or they feel sleepy during class and do not pay proper attention.
Along with academic performance cell phones have also positively and negatively affected social relationships. With the emergence of mobile phones individuals are able to stay connected with their friends, family and relatives living abroad. In addition to keeping up with social relationships, individuals have also been able to increase productivity with their work because they can be hundreds of miles away from the office, and still have instant access to their e-mail, documents and contacts wherever they are (Tully, 2003). A trend that is becoming more apparent is present absences; this is the concept of how an individual’s presence in a social setting changes regardless of their physical presence, they are only half-present (Fortunati 2008). Individuals attending any meeting with their friends, coworkers, boss or any type of social activity, they leave that place during conversation as soon as their cell phone rings or vibrate. Even when sitting with their parents they do not hesitate to go ahead and answer the call without thinking that this could hurt them. Through observation, researchers have found that individuals typically will not hesitate to interrupt an ongoing conversation to answer the ringing of their cell phone.
Cell phones have given a new way to individuals to form new relationships and to strengthen existing ones. Teens admitted spending nearly an equal amount of time talking as they do texting each month. The feature is so important to them that if texting was no longer an option, 47 percent of teens say their social life would end or be worsened – especially among females (54 percent compared to 40 percent of males) (CTIA Survey 2008).
Before the emergence of mobile technology, individuals have regular interaction with one another. As they have very little telephonic contact with one another so they are used to visit each other homes regularly. Even if any one of the family member is in hospital, their loved ones even if out of city make a visit instantly or the next day but now with the emergence of cell phones people are supposed to just ask about their health on phone call with their cell phones.
Cell phones also create a factor of safety among parents. Parents feel satisfied if their children are having cell phone with them while going outside as they can contact them whenever they want. Even in the time of emergency they can call them. Not only parents can contact their children in the time of difficulty but children can also contact them in emergencies. But children also sometime misuse this device by telling lie to their parents and doing whatever they want to do outside, as their parents are satisfied with their lie. On the other side this device along with disadvantages has helped children and parents both to stay in contact when outside their home. As everything in this world have advantages and disadvantages both and it is upon us how we utilize it.
Cell phones` usage will have a negative effect on students` academic performance.
Cell phone usage
The data was collected by distributing questionnaire to students of different universities in Pakistan with the ages ranging between eighteen and thirty. A sample size of 150 students was taken in which 65 respondents were male and 85 respondents were female.
The survey consisted of 24 questions, including cell phone impacts on students’ academic performance and social relationship. Multiple choice questions were asked. The reliability of the instrument was calculated by using SPSS. The instrument was personally administered to the sample. Demographic information (e.g., age, gender, university, degree, GPA) was also collected.
After successfully collecting the data through distributing questionnaires in different universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, we have inserted that data in SPSS software data sheet and run desired functions necessary to know that what impact does independent variable (cell phone usage ) have on dependent variable (students’ academic performance). We have evaluated students’ academic performance by considering their GPA.
From the correlation results as shown in TABLE 1, we have find that cell phone usage is having negative impact on students GPA i.e. (r= -0.303, p<0.01). We also come to know that age and GPA is also negatively related with each other i.e. (r= -0.154, p<0.01). The Cronbach’s Alpha reliability for this scale is 0.688. For calculating Cronbach’s Alpha we have also reversed the scale of question 2, 3 and 6.
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M S.D 1 2 3 4
Age 21.487 1.8672 1
Gender 1.58 0.49521 -0.184*
Cell phone usage 3.267 0.4512 0.045 -0.149 1
GPA 1.9911 0.57583 -0.154 0.246** -0.303** 1
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Predictor Academic performance(GPA)
Î² Î” Sig.
Age -0.27 0.164
Gender 0.205 0.006
Age -0.26 0.167
Gender 0.169 0.020
Cell phone usage -0.212 0.072 0.001
The table 2 shows the regression result of dependent and independent variable. In step 1 control variables i.e. age, gender is shown and in step 2 independent variable i.e. cell phone usage is shown. In horizontal line we have dependent variable i.e. academic performance measured using students’ GPA.
The fluctuation in students’ academic performance (GPA) due to cell phone usage is 7.2%. The impact of cell phones usage on student academic performance is negative i.e. (Î² = -0.212). This implies that the student whose usage of cell phone is more is having low GPA i.e. showing poor academic performance.
In this research paper we have evaluated that what impact students’ cell phone usage has on their academic performance by considering their GPA. Students’ age and gender is also taken into account while running analysis using SPSS. Cell phone usage is taken as independent variable and students’ academic performance is taken as dependent variable. Questionnaires are given to be filled by students of different universities in Rawalpindi and Islamabad between the age of 18 and 30. The data collected is analyzed by using SPSS software and evaluated the impact of cell phones’ usage on students’ academic performance.
The result shows that cell phones’ usage is negatively impacting students’ academic performance. This means that the students who are using cell phone more are having low GPA. On asking questions on how much time they spend on using their cell phone and in how many classes they use cell phone, we have found that there is negative relationship of these two questions with students GPA. That is the students who are using cell phone almost 7-10 hours and those also who use cell phone during their most of the classes are having low GPA. On asking random questions we have found that one of the most used feature of cell phone is text messaging used by 67% students (female 37% and male 30%). Almost 81% students (female 46%, male 35%) are using standard text messages as compared to multimedia messages or other. 43% students (31% female and 13% male) say that they put their mobile phone on silent mode while attending class. 35% students (20% female and 15% male) say that they occasionally receive or send text messages while the class was in session. 55% students (35% female and 20% male) agree on policy that mobile should be kept by students but they should set it in vibration mode. 61% students (40% female, 21% male) say that they do not use night packages on their cell phone. 42% students (23% female, 19% male) say that they use day packages on their cell phone. 67% students (39% female, 27% male) say that they spent 10% of their pocket money on cell phones. 56% students (32% female, 24% male) say that they sometimes use their cell phone while doing their assignments.
As results show that those students who spend most of their time on cell phone are achieving low GPA, which is in accordance with the literature and common observation. Students are using their cell phone during class, they are also receiving and sending text messages during their class so they will be able to pay less attention to lecture and thus it will have negative impact on students’ performance. Some students are also using night packages on their cell phone which will make them unable to be attentive in their morning class or may be unable to attend the first class. It is better to activate missed call alert on their cell phone and put it off during class and when they will on it they will receive message of all the calls they missed when the cell phone was off. In last concluding all cell phone usage is significantly impacting our youth who are misusing this technology, and thus showing poor academic performance and demolishing their career opportunities.
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