Mobile Phone is Detrimental to Your Mental Health

The ETS GRE incident of accessing my cell phone – iPhone – made me realize I habitually use my mobile phone. This incident made me become aware I use my cell phone a lot, but it’s not what I would call an addiction. Even though this is not a serious addiction, research has shown that spending a lot of time on a mobile phone is detrimental to your focus and mental health. As a result of this realization, I have begun taking many steps toward reducing the amount of time I spend using my iPhone. For example, I have already turned off notifications, kicked my phone out of my bedroom, and even turned on grayscale, and these strategies are working towards wasting less time and reducing distractions generated by the iPhone. The incident made me question why did I look at my iPhone during a break in the first place. The more I reflected on this behavior and incident, the more I noticed a large amount of my cell phone consumption is unconscious behavior. Once we come in contact with the mobile phone, we have to be mindful that an unconscious shift to check Twitter or check the weather can occur.

Even though what occurred on that day was an ‘accidental’ time-suck that happened when I began tapping around on my phone, there may be consequences for getting distracted during an exam or an important social event, or a job interview. I cannot change what happened on December 10, 2018, during a GRE scheduled break, but I can change my behavior for the next time I take an exam, whether that exam is taken for an RPI course, a subject GRE exam, or another ETS computer test.

Furthermore, the incident has gone beyond simply affecting my behavior during exams since it has changed my daily habits and behavior. It was not my intention to use my iPhone during a scheduled break, and the alluring power of text notifications and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may simply be too much to resist when coming into contact with an iPhone. This is why I took measures to fix this problem and habit by removing many apps from my iPhone. For the small number of apps left on my iPhone, I decided to completely turn off an app’s notifications so that the next time I take a scheduled exam break, there are no more distractions and alerts which would make me want to look at the iPhone’s Lock screen or Home screen.

Furthermore, I also reflected on how ETS is considering canceling my GRE scores. It is important to say I spent a great deal of time studying and being focused on practicing for GRE scores, and it is unfortunate I failed to stay focused when it really mattered. Reflecting on this impulse to check iPhone notifications and alerts made me realize I also check my iPhone when I am waiting in line. For many people, mobile phones are a way to waste time while waiting in a long line. Instead of checking my iPhone, I should lean into the boredom that happens to be essential for creativity and reflection. The point is to stop checking my cell phone just because I am not doing anything for a minute or two. Please consider not canceling my GRE scores.

As I said earlier, I have taken many steps to ensure this cell phone incident never happens again. This is an opportunity to change my daily habits and limit my cell phone usage. Furthermore, I will continue to take steps to ensure I don’t use a mobile phone at an ETS Testing Center. For example, today, I learned to begin with iOS 11. There is now a new Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that was created for the purpose of blocking incoming phone calls, texts, notifications, and alerts while you are driving. I am taking this matter very seriously because this Do Not Disturb While Driving feature was designed with the aim of cutting down on distractions to prevent accidents, and this change in my behavior could make my driving safer.

The next time I take an ETS paper-based or computer-based exam, I plan to stick my iPhone in the glove compartment. Furthermore, once I arrive at the testing center, I will simply stay away from the glove compartment, and now the iPhone will be inaccessible and out of sight. Then I will lock my car using the car keys, and in this manner, I will be unable to use my cell phone without leaving the testing center. This strategy will make it a lot harder for me to use my cell phone during a break because now I have to leave the testing center and open a few building doors and walk to my car, which could be far away from the testing center’s parking lot.

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Mobile Phone is Detrimental to Your Mental Health. (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved June 13, 2024 , from

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