Technology and the Tartan teenager

Kierra Ciolkosz, Assistant Editor

Have you ever checked how long you spend on your phone? Or looked at the clock after hours have passed and seen that you’ve been on your phone for longer than you expected? According to the studies done on teens and their cellphones, average teens spend six to nine hours on their cellphones. That is one fourth of your day on your phone. On a larger scale, it is a fourth of your year spent mindlessly scrolling through your phone, one fourth of your year spent staring at a screen rather than going outside, one fourth of your year wasted away by playing games like Hayday or the new Mario Kart.

I set out to research students at Tartan High School to see what their screen time is. I asked some of my friends, and one said 10 hours. Another said 9 hours and the rest claimed to spend less time than that. I took the discussion to the lunchroom and as people started checking their phones they started realizing how much time was passing by on their phones. “I never realize how long I spend on my phone. I use it when I have nothing to do, then I spend hours clicking through things and subconsciously spend hours tapping my phone.” Boys surprisingly spent less time on their phones than girls. If you take the data showing a person spending 10 hours on their phone, it averages to just under half your year spent on your phone. Half the year.

Our generation is the most technologically advanced generation with the innovation of the Iphone and self driving cars. But does that mean we’re the most unproductive or that we’re turning into robots? Emotionless and lazy because we are living through a screen? We talk through screens more than we talk in real life. We learn more through screens than through stories. We spend more time thinking about our next post or what someone posted than creating something or helping people and causes in need. 

As I write here today I believe that we are becoming robots. Some people, I would say,  are unable to survive without their phones or social media. We are dependent on google maps, texting/calling, youtube, and safari. Our lives have become so intertwined with our technology that we as humans, on average, lose a quarter of our precious time. So, as you go on with your day, I urge you to be conscious of how much time you spend on your phone. If possible, have a day where you go phone-free. Although you may think it’s impossible, I assure you the opposite: it is possible and you will learn and grow from it.