Digital download

Screen time usage linked to feelings of isolation


Photo by Bailey Groom

Student enthralled in his phone endures social isolation despite being connected through the internet. Photo illustration

Story by Brooklyn Watson, staff writer

Screen time has had an effect on the well being of teenagers. Teens have an addiction to constantly being on technology. They are obsessed. All day and all night they are on technology, which causes isolation and alienation in the lives of many teens.

“It’s almost like an addiction. It’s very sad, and I am very concerned about the youth in this generation,” technology teacher Melinda Asher said. “They don’t know how to turn it off or take a break. If they are without their phone for five minutes they are lost.”

The fear of being away from a cell phone has a name: nomophobia. Though it’s not listed in the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, there is a movement to have it included.

This generation of teenagers are addicted to Instagram, Snapchat, games and many more.

In fact, Pew Research Center reports that 54 percent of teens say they spend too much time in front of a screen.

“Teenagers are isolated from the world because they are so addicted to getting on technology and using it in their day-to-day routine,” junior Kaiti Watson said. “It’s almost like we have forgotten how to socially interact with real life people because we are so used to interacting through a screen. Instead of being social, we lock our doors, turn on the TV and get on our phones.”

 A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that those with higher social media use felt more socially isolated than those with lower levels of use.

Isolation has affected the lives of many teens because many teens stay shut behind their door playing violent games and watching violent shows and movies, and because of those, it has lead to feelings of depression in most teens.

“There are games flying around that we play everyday that may or may not cause a negative affect on our lives. There are games that some people can control and some people can’t,” senior Brayden Ritchie said. “Not only games but shows that talk about suicide and depression that may play a sensitive role in teen lives, which the making of these shows and video games are creating dangerous people in the society.” 

The constant usage of technology and watching television damages the brain system by connecting emotional processing and decision-making. A new study links anxiety, severe depression and suicide attempts because of technolgy.  

“I feel that technology is hurting many teens in today’s society,”  junior Darby Robertson said. “it affects their vision of the real world and it hurts them in a way that they can’t see. Teens don’t notice how isolated they are from their family. They are so distracted playing video games they don’t even notice the things around them.”