Technology: a Different Addiction.

They are everywhere. It’s rare to see a person without one.

In the cafeteria during lunch people have their faces in their phones instead of eating. Instead of having their noses in a book in the library, students have them in phones. They are an addiction. Smartphones are taking over the world.

Would you be able to not charge your phone at night so your battery life is low for the majority of the day? This is what junior Jillian Fast does so she isn’t tempted to use her phone as much throughout the day.

“Addiction is not too harsh of a word,” Fast said about screen time tendencies. ”People are so reliant on technology. They can’t go a day without it.”

When people think of addiction, most minds go straight to drugs or alcohol. But an even more common addiction is screen addiction, “digital drug.”

It’s a hard realization to come to, but the amount of time people spend on their phones is unbelievable.
“I probably spend around 13 hours on my phone, it depends on the day,” sophomore Landon Johnson said.

Even just checking the time every few minutes, people’s eyes are always on screens.
Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital have found that children aged 8-12 show that screen time is linked to slower connectivity in language and cognitive control.
With a rise in how many kids have smartphones in school, distractions and new policies are being enforced.

Because of his smartphone, junior Jake Boss doesn’t ever struggle with down time. “There is so much to do on it when I get bored,” he said.

Even with all these new phone policies, they are not being enforced enough to be effective. In the student handbook, it states each policy is different depending on the class, but each one should still be respected.
“People definitely don’t follow the rules,” junior Ava Jacob comments.

Research shows spending hours on screens every day is actually changing children’s brains. The National Institute of Health found different patterns in brain scans of 4,500 children depending on how much time the kids were spending on screens.

Studies have also shown improved mental health and performance when screen time is restricted. Professor Jacob Barkley of Health Sciences at Kent State University, found a correlation between smartphone usage and lower satisfaction with life.

And that is why Fast tries to limit her smartphone usage.

“Screen time affects mental health and especially disconnects you from the real world,” Fast said.
The Pew Research Center did a recent study and found teens 14 to 17 years old spend roughly 10 hours a day on some form of technology. All of this time spent on screens could be used somewhere else, like working out, building relationships in person, reading, or doing something remotely productive.
Anxiety is a huge mental health issue in kids today. The Mental Health Report found that kids ages 11 to 17 years old who use social media found that 47 percent were classed as anxious.

“This is a new, very real and complex problem that I think we are just beginning to fully understand.” school social worker Meghan Ritchey said.

Technology is so prevalent in everyday life and there are many positives that go along with devices. But there are also stresses and negatives.

“Technology is still very new, and we don’t know all of the long term mental health effects yet,” junior Samantha Kildea said, “which leaves us in a grey area for the future.”