Could Screen Time Be More Damaging Than We Think?

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Many parents all across the country talk about how children spend too much time on their cellular devices. In 2018, Apple released parent controls to limit screen time, since then it has been a very controversial topic between teens and their parents. Most teens use their phone on a daily basis, however, some parents think it’s too much for them to handle. This leads to the result of parents taking their kids phone and setting time limits for the apps. These parents truly do have good intentions and hope limited screen time teaches their kids to socialize and do more chores and focus on school, sports etc., but if they knew the negative effects most parents wouldn’t be so quick to set the time limit controls on their kids’ phone. Most parents say they want what is best for their kids, but what if they are adding onto the stress and anxiety that they face on a daily basis. 

Picture this, you have had a long stressful day and all you want to do is get home and relax and call a friend. You turn on your phone then you see letters across the screen that says, “YOU HAVE USED ALL YOUR SCREEN TIME.” You would most likely be frustrated at the fact that you had just wanted to call a friend. What makes matters worse is you had wasted all your screen time at school maybe researching, using a calculator, or simply calling your mom, therefore, you didn’t even get to use your screen time in your free time.

Photo Credit to The Atlantic by Ian Bogost

”It’s like having no free time and feeling isolated,” says Brooke Hilton. Hilton also claims that, ”(Limited) screen time all around is just a bad thing.”

This is how most kids feel. It makes it really hard to fit in and socialize since most things are done online these days. If a friend asked you, “Hey, call me when you get home. I’m going through a rough time and really need someone to talk to,” you would obviously call them. But what if your screen time runs out? Can you imagine how awful that person would feel if they waited for you to call and how stressed you would be worrying about your friend? Parents don’t understand that teens rely on each other a lot more than they think because we are in the same age group and think alike. So cutting off free time and time on cell phones can make them feel very isolated.

”I just dislike (limited) screen time and I simply voiced my opinion to my mom and she lifted the limits,” says Natalie Swarzc.

I think most people can agree that if your stressed, being on your phone texting a friend about the situation helps a lot. Teens need to reach out to their parents and explain why screen time is hurting them, so they can have healthy communication on why they think it’s harmful and how it affects their life and should definitely change.