Excessive cell phone use strains teens


(Photo courtesy Amazon)

Since Apple Inc. created its first iPhone in 2007, technology in the United States has been advancing at an astonishing rate. In the last decade, the explosion of smartphones and tablets in the United States has drastically increased the amount of time people have been spending on electronic devices. Social media activity as well as screen time has increased considerably.  Recently, people have been questioning the severity of the consequences that constant screen time has on young adults and adolescents.

As many of the students at SHS know, adolescents today have never known a world without the Internet or modern day technology although this is true for all generations, in the past technology was never integrated into society in the way it is today. The average teen spends more than nine hours each day using some type of electronic. Studies show that that amount of screentime can cause something scientists call a sensory overload. Sensory overload is known to cause many behavioral and mental problems, such as a decrease in mental energy, emotional outbursts, anger, and sleep deprivation. In America, 35.3% of people get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. In addition, research shows that over 90% of high school students suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. Every year, 100,000 people a year die from sleep deprivation in the U.S. Statistics show that teens who spend less time on their technological devices and spending more time one more worthwhile things, are less prone to mental and emotional issues later on in life. In addition to causing sensory overload, the stress that comes along with constant social standards plastered all over social media platforms is also proven to cause a deterioration in mental and emotional energy.

Although screen time is an issue that is more prevalent in teens and young adults than any other age group, these issues have began affecting children from the time they are old enough to pick up a phone. With apps like ABC Mouse and GoldieBlox (apps aimed at young children ranging from children ages five through eight), even young kids are spending more time than ever on technological devices. Even though these apps were invented with the intention of teaching children educational knowledge, the apps are known to cause issues such as, alterations in behavior, sensory deprivation, and an overall deterioration in mental health.

As time goes on and technology progresses, people are spending more and more time on their devices and this problem will continue to become a larger problem.