(illustration by Joaquin Romero) “You kids are always on those things. Do you ever take a break? Your generation is just too glued to those phones.” We’ve all heard it before. You probably respond with an eye roll and a sigh, dismissing the validity of these statements. Or maybe you defensively think: “I’m not that […]
(illustration by Joaquin Romero)
“You kids are always on those things. Do you ever take a break? Your generation is just too glued to those phones.”
We’ve all heard it before. You probably respond with an eye roll and a sigh, dismissing the validity of these statements. Or maybe you defensively think: “I’m not that bad. Besides, It’s not my fault; we were born into it. Adults just don’t understand.”
While the stigma that most adults hold towards the iPhone generation can be unfair, there may be some truth to it. The reality is that in some way, shape, or form, the staggering usage of cellphones within teens does impact your life more than you may think.
When we’re given these rose gold, emoji-embedded devices, there’s a sense of freedom that comes along with it. But with freedom comes self-discipline. Some parents take it upon themselves to regulate their child’s phone usage, but we each have a responsibility to use our devices wisely and manage our time properly.
CB students Lauren Berry (‘20) and Tiffany Palacol (‘20) report to spend approximately two hours on their phones each day.
“I hate to say it’s distracting, but it is because the time I spend on my phone could be spent on studying and doing homework,” Tiffany admits.
Everyone procrastinates, but now we’re using our phones to do so. A ceaseless source of entertainment to distract us from something far more boring can be exceptionally hard to pull away from. Without digital distractions, it’s accurate to assume that many of us would get our homework and other tasks done much sooner than we currently do.
Since we’ve become more sidetracked from our responsibilities, our time management skills may be weakened as well. Lauren expresses the technology over-usage she witnesses within herself and her peers.
“Some people in this generation tend to be on their phones or some sort or device for a large portion of their day, which obviously isn’t healthy,” Lauren confesses. “It’s hard to realize in the moment that there are better ways to use your time.”
With YouTube, games, text messaging and social media, our phones can get the best of us in that they make it so easy to waste time. As we spend more time on our phones, we develop an instinct to constantly reach for them.
“I usually use my phone when I first wake up and when I go to sleep each day,” Lauren confesses. She isn’t the only one, as 44 out of 50 high school students claimed to have the same habit in a Talon Instagram poll. Even in social situations, many high schoolers use their phones when in the company of their friends. Phones are now used as an excuse to avoid interaction or awkward silence within a conversation.
It’s noticeable that cellphones can hinder our real life communication skills,
“Smartphones can impair us because they often keep us away from physical human interaction,” Lauren says, “I’ve also noticed that people I have talked to over the phone are far more socially awkward in real life.”
Have we as a generation become less capable of holding a conversation? Some prefer talking through text because it gives time to ponder and proofread before responding. This habit to text can make it more difficult and add pressure to our face to face conversations.
However, the digital world isn’t an entirely toxic place as long as we take it at face value; fake news, clickbait, and the number of likes we receive on a photo are all things that can devalue our cell phone experience.
To regulate this, CB’s educational technology specialist, Ms. Brittany Williams advises students should more carefully monitor their screen time.
“The new application within the iPhone settings allows you to view your screen time data and the apps that you are using the most. Take a break and set personal goals for yourself because it really is unhealthy to be on a screen for extended periods of time.”
On the bright side, many of us do use our phones for good, whether it be for communication, information or self-expression. Having a cell phone has helped some students become more aware of what is happening in the world. Within seconds, today’s teenagers are able to learn current news, answer questions, and access a universal surplus of knowledge that makes them more educated. Cellphones don’t just diminish the communication barrier between us and our friends, but it also creates an exchange of global information and communication.
It really comes down to how often you use your phone. It’s important to disconnect from our habits to text and post because real life isn’t perfected and filtered, it’s instantaneous. As we evolve into a more digital world, the ability to write an email or send a text is important, but genuine conversation skills are nevertheless essential.