By Stephanie Olson

Teenagers have multiple social media apps that they scroll through for hours on a daily basis. They are not the only ones that are guilty of doing this because many adults are also addicted to keeping up with their latest celebrities, influencers or even their old friends on Facebook, but I want to focus on how it is affecting teenagers today. A lot of teens are losing focus in school, they find it hard to sit and read a book or textbook pages if they are assigned for homework. Teenagers are getting used to watching shortened videos that are often posted on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat which makes it hard for them to pay attention to longer videos like movies or educational videos shown in class. This is becoming a problem for teachers that have to deal with students’ shortened attention span.

Children are spending more time on screens now than ever before, which will affect the way they ultimately think. According to “National Library of Medicine” it is said that “media multitasking has been linked to worse attentional control, greater distractibility, or attention lapses” which can have a long term effect on children later on with ADHD and other health conditions that might come along with the overconsumption of screens.

Ultimately, children shouldn’t use screens as often as they do today. The problem with that is, a lot of schools use chrome books for their students’ learning instead of textbooks and a lot of children have their own iPad or cellphone that they use at home throughout the rest of the day. Technology is so readily available to children that we can’t even blame them for using it all the time. Times have definitely changed, even adults are addicted to their phones and television, so we can not blame the children for always wanting to use technology. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute they say that parents need to set a good example  for their children. They need to “be a good role model and limit your screen time to no more than two hours per day, too. If your kids see you following your own rules, then they’ll be more likely to do the same.” Children look up to their parents and rely on them to set a good example that they can follow, like reading more books, going outside to play, etc.

Conversation Starters:

  1. How many hours do you think you spend on a screen per day?
  2. How do you feel about children owning their own device like a phone or iPad?
  3. Why do you think it might be appropriate or inappropriate for young children to be watching something on a device at the dinner table?
  4. Would you reach for your phone to give to your child if they were throwing a tantrum in public to make them be quiet? Why or why not?
  5. What do you think is the appropriate amount of screen time a child should have and why?


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