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OPINION: The age of the screenager

How has technology affected us as people?

A graphic of two people walking together while on their phones, not paying attention to each other . As Gen Z has become so dependent on technology since their childhood, time management and in-person interactions have become more difficult. // Canva by Avery Rossman

I screen, you screen, we all screen. In this modern day, screens are constantly surrounding us. 

I use my phone a lot – it’s almost too embarrassing to admit how much. But as a student, I use my phone for school, connecting with friends and family and staying updated on news and current events. 

Being constantly exposed to technology, I have become almost addicted to my phone — I have become a screenager. 

I wake up and check my phone; I walk to class and check my phone. When I’m waiting for a text, call or more likely, an email, I am constantly checking my phone. 

Our world has become obsessed with the usage and acclimation of phones into our day-to-day lives. 

“People can now use their smartphone apps to access a variety of Internet services, including instant messaging … online socializing …  electronic commerce … and online payment. … These services have become an important part of the infrastructure of the modern information society, making smartphone apps a necessity in daily life,” a 2022 study said about technology usage.

Technology has been an integral part of our society, and many students like me have been feeling the effects its influence. 

Western Washington University student Drew Johnson has seen the less appealing side of technology, specifically when phones get in the way of personal relationships. 

“My roommate has heavy ADHD and does not retain a single word spoken to him if he has his phone out,” Johnson said in an email. 

Johnson also mentions another dark side to the portable phones we have access to and the negative impacts of having such free access.  

“I feel that the phone can suck me into viewing mindless content. This is something I am trying to eliminate,” Johnson said in an email. 

While some students have had the ability to control their phone usage, I am not one of those students. Johnson, on the other hand, is able to handle how and when he uses his phone. 

“My average phone usage is about three hours per day … with additional screen time for streaming shows on a laptop maybe average of one to two hours per day,” said Johnson. 

Being on a phone for more than three hours a day is something that sadly comes very easy to me personally. I have an embarrassing high screen time, and I have the worst screen time management. 

“In short, mobile phones are ubiquitous. In most countries of the developed world, the coverage reaches 100% of the population, and even in remote villages of developing countries, it is not unusual to cross paths with someone in the street talking on a mobile phone,” said a 2015 study surveying phone usage. 

I think it is safe to say that we all have a friend that is a screenager, and if you don't have that friend, I am sorry to be the one to tell you this but you are most likely the screenager friend.

Avery Rossman

Avery  Rossman (she/her) is an opinions reporter for The Front. When she’s not writing, you can find her in the gym or cracking jokes and laughing with her friends! 

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