Online School Creates too Much Screen Time for Teens

Online School Creates too Much Screen Time for Teens

Ava Pope, Journalist

It is a well known fact that too much screen time can have a negative impact on your health. As more and more students are transferring to online school, many people are noticing the side effects of sitting in front of a computer all day. This makes many people concerned, especially parents as rates of depression and other related issues rise.

Effects on sleep: one big thing that spending too much time on computer or phone screens can do is cause bug problems with sleep. The blue light emitted chrome electronic devices makes it harder for the brain to produce melatonin which is a chemical needed for sleep. This makes it more difficult not only to fall asleep but also to wake up which turns into a cycle that is extremely difficult to get out of. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to other mental health problems, and lower mood and energy in general.

Excess amounts of screen time can also lead to problems with physical health. During online school sit in one place for hours at a time. The lack of movement as well as the actual process of staring at one screen all day can cause problems such as blurred vision and eye strain, neck shoulder and back pain, and headaches. Along with that increased amount of time on the computer and phone can also lead to higher chances of weight gain and obesity. According to a scientific advisory from the American Heart association, time spent on screens, leads to increased inactivity and eventually poor cardiovascular health and obesity.

It can also have effects on mental health, not only from the lack of sleep but also from isolation, and other things that go along with being alone online all day such as depression, insomnia and more. Rates of depression in teens are 3 times higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than they were before.

Larger amounts of screen time for students is causing many problems that make it more difficult to live life the same way that they were before transitioning to school online and in isolation. There are a few things that we can do to make sure that there’s balance between time spent on screens and time doing other things. One big thing that you can do is find a way to minimize or completely turn off the notifications that you might get. When messages or other notifications show up on your screen especially while you’re trying to focus on other work can be incredibly distracting and can overall lead to more time spent on the phone and computer. Another thing that you can do is keep your phone in a different room from where you’re working. If the phone isn’t in sight, you’re more likely to forget about checking it while you’re working on something else. If your phone is on the table in front of you while you work, your brain is still thinking about who might be texting you, or focused on not checking it, while if your phone is out of sight you are less likely to be distracted by it. In conclusion, increased amounts of screen time are a problem right now even if you aren’t directly impacted by the consequences. Even these small steps can help prevent problems now and in the future.