When you walk through a high school hallway, what do you see? I guarantee that the first thing you see are people looking down. I know it sounds crappy, but it’s a problem. Teens usually have an average of up to 9 hours of their eyes glued to their phones, and if they have social media, it’s even worse. Teens can spend up to almost 50% of their day on their phones – and these life long battery lives aren’t helping either. Technology can be useful, but it can also be bad for your health.
We interviewed 2 students from Lake Mary High School, Tristan Berry and Isabella Muñoz, both freshman:
We asked Tristan about how many hours he spends on his phone, and he said, “Since about 7am, until 10pm.” That’s about 15 hours out of a 24-hour day that Tristan is on his phone, more than 50% of the day is taken up by his screen. Now, regarding how he feels after looking at his phone for so long, he says he feels “content.” Then he starts the vicious cycle all over again when he wakes up.
Then, we interviewed Isabella. We asked her the same questions that we asked Tristan. We asked her how many hours she spends on her phone, and she said “My screen time is 10 hours a day, and 70 hours a week.” When we asked her how she feels after being on her phone for so long, she said she feels “unproductive”. So we asked her what she would rather do with those 10 hours, and she said, “I would rather cut down on screen time and spend more time with family and friends.”
It’s clear that teenagers spend a lot of time in front of screens. but too much screen time can interfere with a lot of stuff like: getting enough exercise, doing homework, being with friends, and spending time with family. It also can contribute to obesity, attention, and problems such as learning problems, and sleep problems. Too much phone use is also bad for your psychological health. Constant over-use of phones leads to increased anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and low self-esteem. Reliance on phones can also cause irritation, frustration, and impatience when they can’t be used.
So, instead of having your eyes stuck to your screen, why don’t you try other things? You could…
Read a book.
Visit your grandma.
Clean your room.
Take a walk.
Go window shopping.
Go through your closet.
Take a yoga class.
Whatever you do, just stop looking down.