How Technology Affects Teens

Calum Hjelm, Editor

Gen Zs’ unlimited internet access since childhood has set them apart from older generations and these effects will be amplified for generations to come.

 

When was the last time you saw a kid that didn’t have a smartphone? Technology like phones, ipads, and computers are getting used by younger people everyday. Without regulations from parents, teens will never learn to regulate their screen time. John Lazzaro, a retired computer science professor, states, “We are an easily addicted species, and our evolutionary survival depended on prioritizing ‘thinking fast’ over ‘thinking slow’ in many contexts.” 

Using social media feels like doing multiple things at once when you’re just scrolling on your phone.

 A study done by Jama Pediatrics states, “Kids ages twelve and thirteen spend an average of seven and a half hours on a screen, not including school work.” 

 

This shows students are in front of screens for most of the day, with computers at school and other technologies at home. Tristan Harris, a ‘design ethicist’ states, “the problem isn’t the people lack willpower; it’s that there are thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down the self-regulation you have.” To keep you on the app as long as possible, social media like TikTok or Instagram are designed to be a constant stream of content that the algorithm thinks you’ll want.

 

There is a need for social media as a teenager and it is a major way of socializing. Not having social media can make young people feel left out. Even though social media connects us with people we can’t see, it can also cause more anxiety when talking to people. A chronically online teenager states, “I can’t even open my messages anymore. There are too many and it stresses me out.” With that anxiety and not seeing people face to face it is easy to ignore messages, and it ends up breaking down relationships.

 

The teens that are chronically online know that kids shouldn’t have unlimited internet access. The internet is not a safe space for young kids that dont know the consequences. There is disturbing material, untrustworthy users, bullying, and hate on the internet. Games like the blue whale challenge and 50/50 are just two examples. 

 

With how convenient technology is, more parents are giving their young kids screen. The content on the internet isn’t the only thing that could damage kids. Health matters states that kids younger than two learn best when interacting with people and observing the world, but giving them technology creates a “tunnel vision”. This may end up affecting how fast kids learn and their attention span. 

 

Phones and social media are made to be addicting and it affects mostly teenagers. Constant stimulation from phones affects school work, relationships, and how we see ourselves. Learn to regulate screen time and go outside to get some fresh air.