Excessive phone use causes teen mental health issues

Khalyce Griffin, Staff Reporter

   Everywhere we go they follow us, to school, to work and even to the bathroom. Our phones are with us everywhere.

   It is no secret that cell phones today are a controversial topic in schools. Some teachers allow the use of cell phones, and others ban them completely. Deciding to take these issues head on, English teacher Tara Waltman decided to show her students just how distracting phones can be.

   “The results were just constant notifications. No matter what social media platform it’s just non-stop, and so if it’s there even if they’re not using it or on it just that flash is a constant interruption,” Waltman said.

   According to a study conducted in early September of 2022, the average American spends around 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones per day.

    To test this theory, we conducted a survey within the high school. Out of 156 respondents, the daily average screen time usage was five to six hours. The highest being sophomore Alexis Miller with 13 hours. 

   “Knowing my screen time is that high it makes me feel kind of bad,” Miller said. “I should probably put the phone down.”

   Despite her screen time results, Miller explained that she has no interest in adjusting her phone use at all. 

   It is not always about how long we are on our phones, but our purpose for using them. 

   “Well, when I’m on my phone I’m usually on Netflix or FaceTime,” Miller said. 

   The study we conducted showed that 50.6 percent of respondents use their screen time to browse social media.

   “I think students use social media that much because that’s the prime use of communication, it’s how we keep tabs on what’s cool and not cool, you can see what your peers are doing, and stay in constant connection,” Waltman said.

    Studies have concluded, too much phone use is harmful to mental health. According to helpguide.org, developing a smartphone addiction can lead to a large array of problems with the ability to concentrate and think deeply or creatively.

   For the holidays, remember to silence the notifications and spend time with family and friends, maybe even try to make a New Year’s resolution to decrease your screen time. Happy Holidays!