psychologist Jo Lamble joined the team to discuss the situation with teenagers being so desperate to keep in touch with friends they are sleeping with phones under their pillows.
Article from www.heraldsun.com.au
Teenage girls are so desperate to keep in touch with friends they are sleeping with phones under their pillows.
Addiction to social networking is making students chronically tired and putting their education at risk, experts say.
A survey by Best Enemies Education, which holds workshops for year 8-10 students on cyber-bullying, said 80 per cent of the 3080 students polled slept with their phone.
Half the girls surveyed tucked phones under their pillows and set them to vibrate.
Chief executive Ross Bark said students were so obsessed with Facebook and SMS that they checked messages until very late.
"A lot of students, girls in particular, are falling asleep in class by noon as they leave their phones on vibrate and it wakes them up," Mr Bark said.
"It becomes harder for teachers to get children to focus on schoolwork."
He said students did not want to be out of the gossip loop when they arrived at school.
"They tell us they are checking their messages from 4am to 5.30am, as they can't get to school and find out something they didn't know about," he said.
"It could be someone's talking about them, it's becoming very toxic."
Clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller said many teens did not get quality sleep to help them learn and guard against problems such as depression.
"It starts a vicious circle - they use energy drinks to be more alert in the morning, but that causes other issues and they are often more grumpy," he said.
Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Frank Sal said schools were trying new ways to keep the social networking generation engaged, including longer class sessions, up from 45 minutes to 100.
Thornbury High student Kristy, 16, admits she sleeps with her phone under her pillow to be on standby for friends in need.
"Some of my friends call me 'The Philosopher'," she said.
"They call me in the middle of the night for advice.
"I feel like I need it with me at all times. It does make me tired at school, but doesn't affect my schoolwork."