How school encourages my technology obsession


A cartoon of the common teen-aged student. Illustration courtesy of Annabelle Goettl.

Annabelle Goettl, Media Editor

I have a confession. I have an addiction to electronics.

Everyday I spend around 5 hours staring at either my computer or phone screen. I have concluded this by considering and calculating the amount of “electronic incorporated” classes that I am personally taking as well as the ratio of time I spend on my computer per class in regard to the length of my school days. My calculations show that at least 5 of my classes are electronically oriented. This means that I have my electronics out, powered on, screen lit and in use for at least 30 minutes, give or take, during each class. This is just counting the 8 hours I am physically at school. Then, I proceed to go home to do more work, all on my computer. As I am 3 years into my internet based studies at Xavier, I have noticed that my dependence to electronics has skyrocketed. Scientific studies show that with every click of the keyboard, dopamine is released into a human’s brain, giving pleasure and making us increasingly more hooked. Given the abundant amount of clicks that I rack up per day, this absolutely explains my increasing need. The thing is… I am not the only one! Senior Holly Ngo quotes “Being a technology based school and having to be updated with canvas assignments and emails, I am constantly on my laptop to see any new updates, assignments, and announcements. This has affected me in a way in which I am always reliant on my device.” Junior Tait Thompson, says “On an average night, I am swamped with homework. Once I finish, I then feel like I have “missed everything” on social media and stay up late into the night to get caught up”

Not only is school work done on laptops, all communication, shopping, map readings, photo management, and much more are all carried out online. Our lives seem to be managed by our devices.

Doctors say that we need to be screen free for at least 2 hours before bed, otherwise we will struggle to mentally shut down and enter REM mode, the deepest stage of sleep, when we dream. At least 8 hours is necessary for a teenager to achieve quality sleep, which is important, but with so much homework, this is an impossible goal. I am always working on my laptop, struggling to finish my homework, and up until at least 10 P.M.

Despite it appearing as an inevitable problem with no solutions, there are actually lots of alternatives to decrease the amount of eye to screen contact. One example of this is the app “Audible” which allows you to listen to a story via a narrator’s voice, as opposed to straining your eyes reading words on a screen. Another idea is to limit email checks to two times a day at scheduled times. Also, our social media apps should have notifications turned off, so we aren’t constantly being reminded of news or updates.

There are so many other replacements that we can all implement in our everyday lives to help lessen the use of our electronics even just a little, and try to kick the addiction!