Living through a screen

Back in the days of black and white movies, before Facebook and pop music, there was a simpler time of old newspapers and telegrams. Today, we deal with a string of constant notifications. There was a point in time that to get news, citizens would simply have to buy a paper at a local newsstand. A book, paper and a pen were all students needed. There wasn’t a dependency on the media world.

Students now more than ever seem to be on their phones looking up videos, texting or listening to music, and doing as little as possible in their everyday lives. Most students have a lovely app called Snapchat, where a user takes a photo and sends it to another user or posts it to his or her story. Snapchat has $13.5 million in funding through Snapchat Discover. Netflix also keeps students from doing class work due to the phone app, which came out in Oct. 2012. Netflix has a $458.6 million income on a monthly basis in 2014. The app allows a user to watch marathons of their favorite shows throughout the school day or work day.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation study, which followed 2,000 young people between ages 8 to 18, kids spend almost as much time on a computer, watching television, using their cell phones, playing video games or listening to music as an adult spends during a full day at work. That is quite a bit of time on a cell phone, and sometimes a waste, of time.

This information is quite startling because the age group tested starts at age eight. Younger children are being introduced to an older technology based generation, meaning eventually a six year old will be able to work an iPad as well as some of the workers at Apple.

However, so much bad has some good. Staying connected keeps students informed plus they can research topics in their classes. Twitter can be a great source for news and Snapchat also has magazines and other news classifieds in their Discover section. This keeps the users’ boredom on hold because there are some interactive drawings and quizzes. When a student goes to write an essay, ear buds and music can drown out loud noises and can help someone write or do their work.

In fact, there are also books students can download on their phone for the long car trips or the new reading for fun class. Netflix, in a twisted way, does have its documentaries and informational shows. In fact, someone can learn more on North Korea than a textbook may ever tell. These good things are drowned out by the negative because the technology is so misused.

Students to need get off their handheld computers because there is not a constant need for updating a status or sending a text. Yes, these distractions still existed a long time ago, but at this point, we are simply abusing the cell phones.

Adults, teenagers and even young children do not need to constantly be on these devices. As great as they are, not everyone is actually paying attention to the pros of having a device that can track where Pluto is right this second, and I don’t expect everyone to. Instead, people are using their devices to ruin what freedoms they have by being glued to a screen.