Glued to smartphones

Glued to smartphones

Smartphones have now become a common tool for everyone. They have become a necessity already. I often ask my students and friends if they can last a day without their smartphones, and obviously, the answer is no. For people who can successfully control their desire to use smartphones and endlessly scroll through their Instagrams and Facebook accounts, it is not a big concern. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not consciously manage their screen time. This has become a big concern for many teachers in Thailand.

I have been here in Thailand for almost six years now. On my first day in school, I observed that Thai schools don't particularly prohibit bringing smartphones in the class. At first, I thought it was because the smartphones could be used as an aid to teaching and learning, which of course we could, but sadly it was not for that. Most students would just use smartphones as they wish even if their teacher is there discussing the lessons. It is quite challenging for foreign teachers to implement a no-phone policy since many Thai teachers don't implement this. This has become a great concern particularly in government schools where teachers are tired of doing endless documents for submission, compliance and promotions.

Try browsing Tiktok or Instagram's Reels and you will see many clips from students who are in the classrooms and are simply using their phones, sometimes, including even their teachers in their posts. Sadly, this is the case from grade school to university levels. How can these kids develop the skills they need to function in the future? Thailand should address this problem ASAP or they will live in a future where kids don't really care anymore about anything but their phones.

Ben


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