Look around you right now. Do you see somebody on their phone? Actually, you’re probably using a phone to read this. You can ask, and about 99 percent of students at Oswego High School will tell you that typically, when they are on their phones, they are using social media. However, it can sometimes cause a lot of problems in people’s lives. I feel like people controlling their screen time can solve these problems.
Whether it be Snapchat, Twitter, or Instagram, all of these platforms are awesome ways for people to post and express themselves. The problem is that way too many people are on their phones, way too often. Now, I’m not saying that I never go on my phone, or that going on your phone is a bad thing, but sometimes going on it too long can result in issues with your everyday life.
One of the main problems with going on your phone too long is it can affect how you sleep. Traci Pedersen, a researcher at University of Gothenburg, found that bright phone screens greatly decrease human sleep chemicals, which can lead to people either not getting good sleep or not falling asleep at all. The blue light that emits from the phone screen is the biggest problem, because the color of the sky is blue, your body thinks that it’s day and its time to wake up, Many smartphones have a blue-light filter, which helps to prevent eye strain and make it easier to fall asleep at night if you can’t avoid being on your phone in bed. Various apps such as Twitter have a setting called night mode which applies a dark layout over the the entire screen. Night mode and blue-light filters can help drastically for people who simply cannot get off their phones, but even when both of these settings are applied, it still isn’t as good as just staying off the phone entirely.
Another problem is the mental effects that phone overuse causes. Phones do not cause mental problems for those who manage to control their usage, but the people who are constantly using their phone for social media are the ones who are greatly affected. People who check social media constantly can develop a fear of missing out. They feel as if they are unimportant if they find out about something after everyone else. This also causes a lot of constant stress in someone’s everyday life which in turn, can cause depression. The bigger problem here is the people who become depressed by seeing how great everybody else’s life seems. Some people on social media try to make it look like they have an amazing life by taking photos that look like they are doing something awesome but really, I feel like they are doing it for the attention and the fame. People can feel like their life is boring and they are not important by looking at these images. Looking around you, there are not too many people you can find who don’t have at least one social media account. Judging by this, it’s likely more teens suffer from these problems than you think.
The last thing I want to mention here is people who use their phones so much don’t realize that they are missing out on life. One thing I see a lot is two people on a date, both on their phones. I don’t think they are realizing just what they are missing. Or even when people go on a hike and are on their phones the ENTIRE time! You never know what day will be your last, and there are a million different things I think people would rather be doing other than being on their phones every minute of their lives, whether they know it or not.
As we all know, going on your phone is a completely normal activity. It’s only when you do it too much that it becomes a problem. Not only does going on your phone too much affect the way you sleep and stress you out, but it also causes you to miss out on the small things in life that mean the most. Sometimes documenting parts of your life on social media becomes your entire existence. Managing your cell phone usage can improve your own life better than you think.