Letter from the Editors-in-Chief: Phone Addiction is Taking Over


Archer Liang

Siena Usui and Chelsee Sawai, Editors-in-Chief of Na Pueo.

Siena Usui and Chelsee Sawai, Editors-in-Chief of Na Pueo. (Archer Liang)

“Ding!” You want to avoid it and focus on your homework instead, but the dangerous sounds of notifications from your phone keep popping up. Yet, the next thing you know, a reply to a text message turns into an hour of scrolling through videos and other apps.

We’re ashamed to admit it, but we’re addicted to our phones.

With more people spending less time outside than during previous years due to the pandemic, it’s no surprise that teenagers have had an increase in their screen time. According to USA Today, a study conducted by JAMA Pediatrics found screen time outside of virtual school doubled from pre-pandemic estimates of 3.8 hours per day to 7.7 hours.

Although Mid-Pacific no longer has online classes, the pandemic has left its mark on us. In fact, our own screen time increased tremendously and staying off the phone is a struggle.

Sometimes, our phones are our idea of “the life,” the one object we need to occupy ourselves for hours on end. We realize that we are having too much screen time, but it’s hard to change such a tough habit.

Part of the reason why we’re addicted is because of the social aspect of owning a phone. It keeps us connected to the world when we’re at home, away from socializing with other people. Social media also fulfills a fear of missing out because you’re up to date with everyone. This makes it hard to stay off of the app, which creates a cycle of unhealthy obsession, allowing an inanimate object to get the best of us.

How can we stay off of these apps? Here are some findings:

People usually go on their phones because they’re bored or in need of a distraction. Instead of thinking there is nothing else to do, view it from a different perspective. Looking around your house for activities, such as reading, exercising or just doodling on some paper are easy ways to put down your phone. It’s challenging to stop the cycle of continuously scrolling, but using an excuse, like eating a snack, can be a small step in the right direction.

Another solution to the dangerous world of phone addiction is setting limits for yourself in small increments of the day. According to The New York Times, a study from researchers at the University of Melbourne alludes that not only does the time spent on your phone matter, but also the specific activities you do on it. Going on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok can really put you on the path to addiction as these apps are designed to do so. The next time you feel tempted to spend long hours online, shut your phone down when you are studying. Put it somewhere that you don’t have access to or put it on mute.

Of course we are not saying to “break up” with your phone forever, but rather to take the time to live in the moments of your life. Giving yourself screen time isn’t bad, but it would be beneficial physically and mentally to limit yourself, by putting those addictions on a shelf, and enjoy what’s happening in the “now.” It’s balance and wellness that’ll get you towards overall betterness in your life and it starts with putting down that phone!