Teens question use of cell phones, social media

Jheron Garrett, Reporter

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Social media and cell phones have become a problem for the youth in this generation.  Lisa Guernsey have described a rise in sleeplessness, loneliness, worry, and dependence among teenagers — a rise that coincides with the release of the first iPhone 10 years ago.

A study  by Harvard student Leah Shafer showed  that 48 percent of teens who spend five hours per day on an electronic device have at least one suicide risk factor, compared to 33 percent of teens who spend two hours a day on an electronic device.

The issue of social media has also taken a big toll on the classroom.

A survey by Harvard students found that a large number of students — 75 percent — believe using personal devices in the classroom has improved their ability to learn and retain information. Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the Harvard survey use their phones to take pictures of lecture slides; 41 percent use them to Google answers to in-class questions; and 39 percent use them to access a digital textbook.

On the other hand, 54 percent also use cell phones to text friends and 52 percent use them to browse social media during class. Out of ten students surveyed at Westerville South, 9 of the 10 said they use their phone in class at some point and are on their phone for at least five hours a day.

Reasons that could cause anxiety or stress on a teen could be feeling pressure to post positive and attractive content about yourself, seeing people posting about events to which you have not been invited and having someone post things about you that you cannot change or control, according Elina Mir and Caroline Novas, National Center for Health Research.

Westerville South high school math teacher  Stephen Ouellette explained that the phones are a distraction in the school and are an addiction.  Therefore, they are becoming a bigger problem every school year. Quelette has even enforced a cell phone policy which starts out with a warning then moves to a detention and a phone call home.  He just wants students to get to their full potential in school without having all the distractions.

Senior Jonathan Kirk said  phones have become a problem without a doubt because that is all students are worried about when they are in class. The students are always worried that they are going to miss out on something or something is going to happen without them.

Senior Luke Beard explained that phones are a problem with this generation overall; but at the same time, they are a big part of their lives like being able to connect to other people from across the world and stay connected to school and work without having to take a trip to the library or place of work.

This generation will continue trying to find a balance in their use of cell phones.