When most teenagers hear the word “phone”, they don’t think of a device used strictly for placing audio calls. Modern cell phones have many additional features. They can be used to place calls in a more traditional sense, but they can also be utilized for audiovisual calls using applications such as FaceTime. Phones can transmit text messages, which allow people to communicate quickly without having to speak aloud. People can jot down their thoughts on a notes app or do complex math with a mini calculator; they can check the weather, get directions to wherever they need to go, take pictures, and more. Not only do phones have practical uses, but they also provide entertainment through downloadable games and the platforms to listen to music with.
Apps such as GamePigeon, which lets iPhone users play classic games with their contacts through their messaging app, are a fun way to pass the time. “My favorite GamePigeon game is basketball, because I’m amazing at it,” says 11th grader Anaya Patel. Sophomore Athena Albright prefers to play a game called anagrams with her friends, because that’s where her talents lie.
Messaging apps aren’t only useful for virtual connections. Often, they can lead to in-person interactions as well. “Sometimes I’ll be studying at the library and I’ll text my friends to come join me, or we’ll use a group chat to set up a time and place to hang out,” says 10th grader Dani Blasberg.
Teachers might also choose to jog their students’ memories about homework or upcoming assignments through an app called Remind, which allows them to send out messages to entire classes or just individuals.
These are only a few of the uses of phones in the lives of today’s high school students. In addition to them, there are multitudes of other ways to utilize what seems to be the favorite device of people in a modern setting. One thing is for sure: nobody’s going to stop using phones anytime soon.