The Catastrophic Effects of Screen Time

How iPhones Have Taken Over the World and Morgan


Katie Martin, Writer, Reporter

In a post pandemic world, screen time and its impact on the mental health of teenagers was in the news again. Screen time consists of a range of content, although social media seems to take up a large share of teenagers’ time online. While screens can provide some benefits, like educational and social outlets, it doesn’t make up for the catastrophic and detrimental effects it has had on younger generations. 


Based on a poll conducted from a variety of Morgan students, 30% of students spend 6-7 hours on their phones, while 10% spend 8 or more, disregarding chromebook usage. While facing technology in school is inevitable, outside of school there are healthier ways teenagers should be spending free time. Senior Amelia Whelan spends time away from her phone when she walks her dog, detaching from social media for a period of time to unplug. Similarly, senior Kirsten Amendola unplugs by going to the gym or going for a walk. Ultimately, the alarming statistics should scare you, but there are existing strategies students use when they need a break from technology. 


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they have recommended no more than two hours of screen time for children and teenagers, though we are nearly tripling this number both inside and outside of Morgan. However, we must take into consideration that we are at school for nearly seven hours, and policing a strict two-hour per day limit on school-age children is close to impossible. 


We consume so much from our digital screens that it can be easy to forget the negative side effects of too much screen time. According to News Medical Life Sciences, “The outcomes are conflicting, with many studies finding negative mental health effects of using screens such as depression, anxiety, and brain fog.” Overindulgence of screens leads to negative impacts on our brains, especially as we are young and growing. Therefore, screen time must be balanced and managed for mental health and wellbeing. 


The solution to the screen time epidemic is to preach moderation. Schools should encourage students to partake in more extracurricular activities, ones that are away from modern technology. Supporting “unplugging” may solve all our problems.

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