Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 Student at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous, organized a cellphone detox for his classmates, which ended on Thursday, Feb. 11. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 Student at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous, organized a cellphone detox for his classmates, which ended on Thursday, Feb. 11. (Jim Elliot - Eagle Valley News)

A 2 week cellphone detox ‘enjoyable’ experience: Shuswap students

Organizer of Sicamous event suggests other schools give restricted phone use a try

Students and staff at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous found a two-week experiment with limited cellphone use an enjoyable disruption of screen-filled lives.

In late January, Cody Hutchinson, a Grade 9 student at the school, challenged his peers to go without cellphones during the school day for two weeks. Between Feb. 1 and 11, ERS students participating in the challenge turned their phones into the office at the start of the day.

With the two-week cellphone detox at an end, Hutchinson said it was a positive experience for him and his classmates who generally have the same impression.

Read More: Maple Ridge man lucky to be alive after snowmobile accident near Enderby

Read More: Lunch program begins Wednesdays in Salmon Arm for people in need

Hutchinson extended the rules of the detox, keeping distance from his phone while at home as well as at school. He said there was a noticeable improvement in his attitude and his grades at school.

At home, he found less distraction from chores on his family’s ranch; rather than texting or listening to music as he worked he found himself taking in the scenery more.

Hutchinson said his classmates quickly got used to going without their phones and are now happy to turn them in at the start of the day.

Eagle River Secondary principal Mark Marino and Hutchinson issued a survey to students participating in the detox. Their responses suggest more interaction between peers and more homework getting done on breaks. Students also reported less concern with what was happening on their phones during the school day and less pressure to answer notifications with the devices in the principal’s office rather than in their pockets.

Read More: Warming bus gets North Okanagan’s homeless out of the cold

Read More: Stricter border controls for travellers to begin Feb. 22

According to Marino and Hutchinson’s survey, 60 per cent of students who participated plan to change their cellphone habits while at school and 40 per cent said it would change the way they use phones at home.

A celebration to end the detox and prizes are being furnished by a $500 grant Hutchinson was able to obtain from the McCreary Centre Society, a youth research think tank.

Marino and Hutchinson are considering bringing the detox back, possibly to start each quarter or semester.

Hutchinson also challenged other schools to hold a cellphone detox if they can handle the logistics of collecting all the phones. Marino and Hutchinson said they would be happy to share the pledge that students signed before the detox as well as helpful tips with any other schools that want to help students get off their screens.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Technology

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Design work continues for planned new hospital

Construction contract still in the works

Northern Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Brucejack mine, 65 km north of Stewart on Feb. 11, 2021. (Pretivm Photo)
Northern Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Brucejack Mine, 65 kilometres north of Stewart on Feb. 11, 2021. (Pretivm Photo)
Northern Health reports 20 more COVID-19 cases in outbreak at Brucejack Mine

So far, 42 people have tested positive, nine cases are active and self-isolating onsite

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: B.C. teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Most Read