It’s a Digital Age

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These days, the constant badgering about how much time teenagers spend on screens never seems to end. Whether it’s about our phones, laptops, TVs, or X-Box’s, every adult seems to think that the time on our screen is not only unhealthy, but also makes a negative impact on other aspects of our lives. So, does the amount of time that we spend on our screens show a major toll in our intelligence and social lives? Or is it possible for our generation to finally get the credit we deserve and be recognized as being productive, not in spite of the “barrier” of technology, but because of it?

According to CNN, Forbes, NPR, and lots of other sources, teens spend at least 9 hours a day on social media/in front of a screen, about the same amount of time that we spend in school. In fact, for many Newman students, that is probably longer than the time we spend sleeping. CNN also states that 53% of tweens (ages 8-12) have their own tablet, while 67% of teens have their own mobile phone. 9 hours for the majority of young children is a whopping amount of time that we spend on technology. Clearly, technology has a major impact on our lives, but the question still remains, “Does the technology  have a direct correlation to our intelligence, and is the impact it makes negative?”

I think it is fair to say that teenagers do not get nearly as much credit as we deserve, dealing with adults’ disdain towards us. We understand that the technologies we have access to today have both positive and negative side effects, but we do have “real” interests that we would love to talk about with adults! Also, smartphones and computers are useful tools for productivity. Avni, the Editor-in-Chief of the Navigator says, “My most visited site on my phone is iNewman because I’m always checking my homework and grades. My second most visited site is this school newspaper because I do most of my editing on my phone.” And let’s be real, it’s not like adults aren’t always on their phones checking Facebook, CNN, playing Candy Crush, or whatever it is adults are interested in these days.

So, yes, we teens do spend lots of times around the digital aspects of life, but it really is not fair for us to get all the stereotypes and misconceptions that we deal with on a daily basis. In the long run, I think it is important for adults to realize that we might love our phones, but it is not our generation’s defining characteristic; we have lots of opinions, ideas, and thoughts that we know will advance this country when it is our turn to lead. If anything, our minds are exposed to an unprecedented amount of knowledge, and we will be the most intelligent generation yet.