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

Longtime basketball coach Allison McNeill is worried that the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely affect high-school athletes with university athletic aspirations. (Garrett James/Langley Events Centre photo)
COVID-19: Young athletes scrambling for scholarships, opportunities amid pandemic

‘They lost their whole Grade 12 year’ says Semiahmoo basketball coach Allison McNeill

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
White Rock woman among dozens in Lower Mainland to benefit from Elder Dog program

Dog-care organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but requires more clients to serve

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta Police searching for driver in hit-and-run

Police looking for witnesses to the incident that happened about 2 p.m. Feb. 23 on Ladner Trunk Road

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

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read