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

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

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

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Most Read