That tiny screen is slowly turning your brain to mushy, beef-flavored ramen noodles

“SCHOOL sucks,” the student tweets during class, not paying attention to the lesson. If students aren’t interested in what a teacher is saying, they’ll pop in their headphones and listen to whatever new “fire” album just came out or stare mindlessly at their four-inch screens searching for something more entertaining than their education.

Students are so quick to pull out their cell phones in any situation. When we’re bored, when we feel awkward, when we need to pass time, and sometimes we don’t even know why we’re looking at it at all.

Our parents and teachers are always complaining about us being on our phones too often. We’ve all heard it, but many of us do not seem to understand why the adults in our lives think cell phones are the root of all evil. They don’t understand us, because they did not fill their free time with cell phones when they were our age.

Teenagers, some more than others, know deep down that cell phones are a problem. But none of them do anything about it. As I sit here and write about detrimental and mind-sucking smartphones, I have one that I use way more than I should.

“Put your phone away!” is a phrase most every Lancer has heard. We roll our eyes and groan, but the groaning isn’t justified. Adults really only tell students to put their phones away when they should be doing something more important.

We all know that Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook are not nearly as important as getting an education, yet many teens act as though they are. I find it odd that students will prioritize scrolling mindlessly on social media over homework.

Obviously, it is easier and more entertaining, but it causes more problems in the long run. Social media is nothing more than one big pissing contest with everyone trying to prove that they’re more good-looking or funny or sad than anyone else. I find it humorous that teens keep attempting to prove something to people who don’t actually care about them instead of enriching their lives with valuable knowledge.

I don’t think anyone would say that looking at the pointless minion memes their aunt shares on Facebook is a better use of their time than finishing schoolwork. If we were to take a second to think about why we spend so much time on our phones and on social media, maybe we would realize how dumb we are being.

Sure, texting and social media can be a great way to stay in touch with people. Excessive cell phone use can become a distraction from our work and lead us off our path to success. We’d do better to remain mentally present in class.

Generations before us have led happy and successful lives without cell phones, and perhaps their lives were better and more productive. Smartphones are an amazing and useful technology, but we millennials cannot let them define us.

In a society full of people who are constantly looking down, be the outlier who looks up and enjoys the real world. That world in your phone is warped, sugarcoated, and filtered. Put it aside and go see the world for yourself. Refuse to let your phone be a distraction to your education and see how far it takes you.

Aspire to be the person who five years from now is posting about their college graduation, not a “selfie” in a greasy fast food uniform. Years from now, you won’t remember that pointless Twitter fight or how many likes your pictures got. Instead, you’ll wonder why you spent high school staring at a tiny little screen.