Screen time takes over teenager’s everyday lives

Siena Usui, Staff Writer

Throughout the day, Mid-Pacific students can be seen fixated on their iPads as they work on assignments, watch YouTube, or play video games. It has become a need for teenagers to go on their electronic device every day.

Studies have shown that 95% of children are getting too much screen time, a study from Canada reported.

A couple signs of screen addiction in someone is when it starts to interfere with their daily schedule, withdrawing from others, or losing interest in sports and other outdoor activities .

Mid-Pacific administration recently addressed parents concerns about screen time by creating several sessions focused on the topic.

During Mid-Pacific’s Coffee Talk Presentation on Nov. 29, Jana Ortiz from the Hawaii Center for Children and Families (HCCF) gave parents some strategies to manage screen time.

“Technology is neutral. It’s up to you how to use it,” said Dr. Ortiz.

Brian Grantham, the Director of Technology at Mid-Pacific, discussed the similarities between the actions of children compared to parents when they were younger.

“It wasn’t digital. But I don’t know about you, but I know several times I was in class with a comic book behind a textbook,” Grantham said. He described how the action of  going on a device and reading a comic were the same, but it meant something entirely different.

Jessie Mitchell, a counselor who works for HCCF, said it’s important for families to talk about the topic of screen time.

“The benefit of parents and children talking together apply to all life challenges, not just screen time; problems are better solved when we can articulate them to each other,” said Jessie Mitchell.

People throughout the world have realized how serious an issue screen time is, and have started taking action.

Honolulu was the first major city in the United States to pass a law against using a digital device while walking in a crosswalk. You can get fined $99 if you’re a repeated offender.

Tech designers and engineers are also cautious about the amount of time spent on devices. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech schools, while Steve Jobs kept a strict leash on tech in his house around his children.

Sophomore Chaz Gaspar said his parents don’t always view screen time as a problem.

“It depends on what the screen time is used for and how I’m doing,” said Gaspar.

Even app developers are making screen time settings so that people realize how much time they’ve spent on their devices. There are also apps that are created for the sole purpose of recording time spent on gadgets.

In fact, Instagram had an update this year that included setting a limit and tracking the amount of time consumed on the app. Apple’s IOS 12 features screen time control that gives you a variety of options to manage your activity.