Guest column: Screen Time
Cell phones can have a negative effect on a lot of things in our lives such as sleep, learning, and social skills. Pew Research Center says 95 percent of teens have a phone, and 45 percent say they are online almost constantly.
Remember your parents telling you not to sit so close to the TV as a kid? There is actually a reason why you shouldn’t, it’s a thing called blue light.
Blue light is a very strong wavelength, emitted by cell phones, tablets, and televisions. Being exposed at night is especially worse than during the day, since it reduces melatonin which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Another negative effect is the use of cell phones in school; research shows that cell phones impair your learning if not used directly for that reason. You may find yourself constantly checking your phone throughout the day; imagine what it’s like in a classroom. Highschoolers aren’t getting the education they should be because of the distractions of their phones.
According to an article on Penn State, cell phones force us to be antisocial, lose patience easily, and limit our interactions with others.
Screen time is a tool on iPhones that track the time that you are on your phone either per day or an average per week.
According to www.wvea.org, American teenagers, 13-18, spend an average of nine hours on their phones a day. Tweens, eight to 12, spend about six hours a day. Whether that occurs on social media, music, or entertainment, that is a lot of time on any device.
I looked at my own screen time; I also interviewed some of my friends and was shocked at their results. My screen time averages two hours and 51 minutes a day. A friend in my class, (her) screen time was an average of five hours and 17 minutes. (She) states, “It’s because I’m always playing music!”
Children recently have been exposed to cell phones and other technology, such as iPads, tablets, and computers at a very young age. Some might have their own phone as early as five or six. According to Huffington Post, children do not know how to handle face-to-face conflict because so much of their conversations are behind a screen.
Technology isn’t always bad; I think it is an important advance in our society. There are many downfalls to phones though, and I think the time spent on them is too much to provide any good.