# Debate 5 & 6

June 13, 2022 1 By Sushmeet Kaur

# Debate 5 (Is social Media Ruining Childhood?)

Childhood is the best stage of human life where they can spend time without any fear and stress. All of us had that wonderful time. The most memorable part of childhood was spending time with our fellow mates. I still remember how I used to go out and play for hours with my friends without any worries about life, living in that very moment. I believe that is something every child deserves in their life. However, kids of this generation are not fortunate enough to have such peaceful and simple life. Children today have Mental Health Difficulties, Anxiety Disorders, Academic Pressure, Peer Pressure, and so on.

Many researchers state that many of these issues kids face are due to Technological advancements and their dependencies. Technology is a helpful tool but too much exposure is dangerous for kids since their brains are not fully developed. Modern culture is exposing kids to various inappropriate music. websites and social media which affect child’s thoughts and social connections. However, we should recognize that today’s kids are not the same as we were. They are exposed to a lot of things that can either make their lives better or sabotage them.

Today children are living in three worlds, real world, imaginary world, and virtual world. There is no doubt that this virtual world can add a whole new dimension to creativity and education if used efficiently. Social Media is a platform that has given voice to tons of people to express themselves. Websites like YouTube help people to come together and talk about issues like Mental Health and Anxiety. Several support groups are available online to reach out to children and adults, allowing them to communicate their thoughts and emotions without fear of being judged. Social media has helped kids to make friends online and had ultimately increased their confidence level. It is important to note that the world of social media is not the only place where children are exposed to the virtual world. They are exposed to it every day in the form of video games, TV shows, movies, and other forms of media. All of them carry equal risks and values.

According to the group, children are spending more time using devices such as tablets and phones, and less time playing with toys and outside which is causing negative effects on their social skills and abilities to interact with others. However, who has caused this issue? In the video posted by Mike Walsh, he explained that he doesn’t allow his kids to play video games, and they don’t have internet access. He believes that kids will choose technology over play if given the choice. I do agree with this, but in a world where technology is constantly changing, is it possible to prevent kids from using devices? We can not outlay the negatives of technology and social media. However, Children tend to follow instructions that they are forbidden to do. Limiting kids’ access to devices will make them more vulnerable to it. It will also make them feel isolated. Young children may not feel this way, but a teenager would. As a society, we can’t prevent kids from being on devices 24/7, but we can limit their experience.

I believe that social media despite having flaws can be a beneficial tool. However, I think that it is vital that parents and educators take the time to be informed about what they are allowing children to access online. It would be good if parents knew and had their children follow the recommended age restriction set by online sites, which for many social media sites is age thirteen. You would not give a child a steak knife without the proper guidance and teaching. The bottom line here is, that technology and social media are not going away anytime soon, or ever! Therefore,  it is critical to educate parents, children, and adolescents about their practices so that children can develop into media-literate consumers and understand how advertisements can easily manipulate them.


# Debate 6 (Cellphones should be banned in the classroom)

Cellphones have become a staple in our society, but should they be allowed in classrooms? Some educators believe that the answer is no, citing that cell phones can be a distraction in the learning environment. Others believe that cell phones can be a valuable tool in the classroom, providing students with access to information and resources. So, what is the right answer? It is hard to say definitively whether cell phones should be banned from classrooms or not. Our debaters put a lot of points to support their side of the argument.

Many teachers are still on the fence about whether or not to allow cellphones in the classroom. While there are some clear advantages to having them in class, there are also some drawbacks to its usage.

The Pros of Allowing Cellphones in Class

1. Increased Engagement: One of the biggest benefits of allowing cellphones in class is that it can lead to increased engagement from students. This increased engagement can be attributed to a number of factors. Using a cellphone in class can help break up the monotony of traditional lectures. It can also help students stay connected to the material by providing a way to access resources and supplemental information. And finally, using a cellphone in class can help students stay connected to the outside world, which can reduce boredom and improve focus.

2. Greater Connectedness: Another benefit of permitting cellphones in class is that it can help students stay connected to their classmates and the instructor. It can help students better understand the material by providing a way for them to ask questions and get feedback from their classmates. It can also help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can be common in traditional lectures. Students feel more connected to the class as a whole, leading to a more productive learning experience.

3. Access to Research: Cellphones can be used for research purpose in the classroom. Being able to identify and use relevant information in a safe classroom environment can give students skill they can use in future.

4. Collaboration: By sharing information among members of a group, working on interactive tasks, and receiving feedback, students can make the most of mobile devices.

5. Increased Engagement in Other Subjects: While cellphones may be banned in some classes, there is evidence to suggest that they can actually be helpful in other subjects. For instance, using a cellphone in math class can help students access supplemental information and resources.

There are certain evidental cons of using cellphones in the classroom as well that can not be neglected.

1. Distractions: Cellphones can be a major distraction in class, leading students to text, play games, or surf the web instead of paying attention to the lesson. It can lead students to zone out from what is going on in class. Cellphones can also lead to multitasking, which can be detrimental to students’ focus and productivity. Thus, they are unable to concentrate on the task at hand. 

2. Cheating: Cellphones can also be used to cheat on tests, by looking up answers or sending messages to other students. However, this can be minimized by partial bans during tests.

3. Limited Participation: Not all students have access to a cellphone or the internet, which can limit their ability to participate in class activities. Digital divides can be exacerbated by this. Some students will have access to more information because they own a particular model of the phone as compared to others. Then there are those who cannot afford one, leading them to feel inferior.  

4. Cyberbullying: Using phones in the classroom can lead to cyberbullying wherein kids can take unnecessary pictures of others without permission and post online. This can be very hurtful and embarrassing for the victims.

There are a few potential solutions to these issues that can be applied in order to overcome the disadvantages. Teachers for example could require all students to put away their cellphones during class and could alternatively allow students to use their cellphones for specific activities, such as listening to music or using a calculator, but not for texting or checking social media.

In the end There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how to deal with cellphone use in class. But banning them is not one of them. Teachers should establish classroom rules for cellphone use and enforce them consistently. With a cooperative attitude, educators can help reduce the negative effects of cellphone use in the classroom. We should focus on the benefits that it offers, like collaboration, connectivity, and engagement. It can enhance the learning environment if it is used responsibly. We should always consider both the sides of the story for creating a beneficial learning environment for students.