Trapped on screens

Society puts attention and time into devices now more than ever

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Trapped on screens


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The human condition is continuously tested by the evolving world that society creates. Today, in a world filled with screens, the demographic of people who are not being interactive in the real world  is increasing. However, companies and health research institutions are combating this growing concern with new settings meant to assist in cutting down usage.

The setting Screen Time tracks and records how long a device is used on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Famously promoted by the technology company Apple, the setting gives power to consumers on the time spent staring on cell phones, tablets and computers. Although not every user will utilize this setting, it gives every person the option to know more about real facts of the matter.  Individuals are able to exercise power over personal devices and put restrictions on the amount of time allotted on technology. This appeals mostly to parents because it allows control over the amount of internet freedom for children.

These new options for devices help promote the movement for less screen time and more real world interactment. However, the data from trackers like this still show that people of all ages are dedicated to virtual lives on the world-wide web.

This information still has yet to convince some consumers on the consequences of too much exposure on electronics. Society holds the most readily available source information in its back pocket, yet many are still unconscious to the repercussions.

A common byproduct of excess screen time is insomnia. People seem to be convinced that their attention is needed around the clock on electronic devices.

The National Sleep Foundation raises awareness on the multitude of factors that can affect sleep: “… 95% of people use some type of computer, video game, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.”

Constant updates promote individuals, mainly young adults and high school students, to lie awake at night. Another factor to consider is the ceaseless use of the brain. Sleep is when the brain calms and equalizes the body, while also extracting the information obtained from the waking hours of the day. Multitasking suppresses the natural functions of the body that allows for normal cognitive function.

On the contrary, students and technology have become closely integrated in the modern school system and multitasking can make students more efficient; however, the additional attention people put into screens should be in moderation.

Other than sleepless nights, social behaviors are evidently changing between people. The amount of attention society places in screens is inherently stunting normal social interactions. Human biology teacher Nicole Kennedy can see such effects of screen addictions first hand in her own classroom.

“I have a real big problem when I give breaks in my class and nobody talks to each other,” Kennedy said, “It is often silent because people are sitting here and I just can’t stand it.”

In her own opinion, Kennedy explained how the new research on technology and brain development are exposing the disconnect that is developing between human beings. Speaking from a parental standpoint, Kennedy can also see how technology affects the family dynamic: “For parenting, it’s almost like the easy way out like “Here have this Ipad or phone.”

Simply giving a child electronics to distract them is hurting them rather than helping. According to the Center for Disease Control actively advocates that adolescents should “get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.”

Studies on the effect of devices are still happening everyday and new, updated data is being recorded. However, the epidemic is evident and change is needed. Students and teachers alike should be more aware of how much wasted time is geared towards scrolling. The web is not inherently destructive with all the capabilities it has, but the misuse of it teaches the mind to follow bad habits. Technology will never stop advancing and developing, but the time people dedicate is something that can not be given back.