Screen Time and its Negative Effects on Students

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High amounts of screen time can have negative effects

Jacopo Congiu-Hughes, Staff Writer

Students use screens for a variety of tasks throughout the day, from education to entertainment to communication. 95% of teenagers have a smartphone, and 71% of teenagers use the internet at school. An average teenager spends 7 hours and 22 minutes on their phone a day. Clearly, teenagers use screens quite a lot in day-to-day life. They seem almost integral in many people’s lives. But are they causing problems for some students? 

Science suggests that excessive screen time might actually be harmful for people, especially young people. According to the study, “Screen time and physical activity during adolescence: longitudinal effects on obesity in young adulthood,” screen time and obesity are closely correlated in teenagers. Because much of screen time activity is sedentary, teenagers who spend a lot of time on screens typically don’t get enough exercise, raising the chances of obesity. The best way for teenagers to reduce this risk is to exercise regularly.

Screen time is also correlated with worse sleep patterns. According to the study, the white light in screens, especially in phones, interferes with the brain’s ability to sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. To make sure they get enough sleep, people should not use their phones for at least an hour before going to bed or change their brightness settings to “night” mode. 

According to State High sophomore Sila Guler, although she spends six to seven hours a day on her phone, she still feels like she spends “not enough” time on her phone. She also says the amount of time she spends on her phone impacts her positively, as she can talk to friends.

Although screen time can have negative effects, it can also have positive effects. 65% percent of those polled in a recent Pew Research survey said that cell phones made it much easier to connect and stay in touch with people, and 44% of people said that cell phones allow them to save more time in daily tasks. It’s clear that cell phones make communication much easier. They can also provide help to those suffering from speech conditions making it difficult or impossible to form words. 

However, despite all these benefits, people should be aware of the negative effects of excessive screen time, and should make sure to limit their screen time. Moderation is always key, in all activities and hobbies. 

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