Is your screen time skyrocketing? Here’s why

Screen+time+sky+rockets+as+school+and+social+interaction+takes+a+completely+online+form.+

Kate O'Brien

Screen time sky rockets as school and social interaction takes a completely online form.

Audrey Lee, Opinion Editor

This Sunday, I was amazed – and not in a good way – to see that I’d broken my all-time personal worst for screen time. When looking at the combined time spent on my devices, it had somehow skyrocketed to over ten hours. Even if I discount my endless Zoom classes, which usually amount to around three hours each day, my daily screen time almost always reaches the double digits. Devices are a vital, necessary part of our everyday lives, but it’s also important to recognize when to unglue your eyes from your glowing screen.  

Being on your device all the time can feel like an endless cycle, as you transition from online classes to other homework also on the computer. Now, in addition to the time we spend looking at Snapchat, scrolling through TikTok, binging Outerbanks, etc, the hours of screen time just keep piling on top of one another.

What’s more, some teachers don’t adhere to the twice-a-week synchronous Zoom calls rule (as outlined in the Upper School Distance Learning Plan). Most classes will run the full 50 minutes, and then you only have 10 minutes before having to hop back on another call. And for teachers that do try to follow this twice-a-week rule, a lot of the time, the asynchronous assignments will also be on the computer, somewhat defeating what I perceive to be the purpose of asynchronous classes: to get away from screens in the first place. Perhaps, teachers should try to assign printable worksheets to avoid more screen time. 

“I get chronic migraines almost every day, and with more screen time, my migraines get worse and last longer,” said junior Erika Pietrzak. “I’ve been trying to limit myself and find a balance between my head hurting and doing my schoolwork.” 

So, while technology is an amazing tool that we can, thankfully, utilize during these tough times, it can also be very unhealthy to be on our devices all day. Taking a break, standing up, going outside, and taking care of our bodies are all important steps we should incorporate into our days to keep our mental and physical health in good shape. 

While we don’t have control over our academic schedule, we can try to remove ourselves from our devices as much as possible. So, maybe next time reach for a book instead of your phone or just get outside for twenty minutes to give your eyes a break.