Screen time increases with 3/2 model

Students react to extended screen time, potential negative effects on teenagers


Lia Becker and Amber Roth

 The first quarter of the school year kept students and teachers confined to tablets and computers for up to seven hours a day in order to prioritize the health of families during the pandemic, but does not include time spent online completing assignments.

Because of online school, students are spending almost quadruple the amount of screen time the American Heart Association recommends, which is 2 hours a day. This extra screen time can have negative effects on students physically and mentally.

“Online school doesn’t allow the students the outlet they get from attending (in-person) school,” mental health practitioner Mike Green said.

Many students are also becoming more aware of how online school affects them personally.

“To be honest, online school makes your anxiety 10 times worse because you are basically teaching yourself even though you don’t understand it,” junior Caydence Volenec-English said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU) ran a survey from late April to early May. The results showed that more than 50 percent of students felt they needed mental health support since schools closed in March.

Despite being online for such a long period of time, some students find online school easier  than in-person learnining. This is due in part to the many different tools students have available to make learning easier. For example, the chat function in Microsoft Teams allows kids to participate more in class.

“The overall impact of online school is that I feel more social than ever,” junior Grady Bazzell said. “I feel pretty neutral about it, it’s nice, but it’s still school.”

Even with the chats, some students fall behind, whether it be because of internet difficulties or anxiety that keeps them from receiving help they need.

“I really don’t know if a student is struggling because I usually can key in on that when I’m in the classroom,” forensic science teacher Michelle Potter said.

With the partial return to in-person learning, students and staff will be able to socialize more in a restricted setting which could be beneficial to students’ education and staffs’ teachings.

“I’ve realized now that school is truly a place to escape and be with people and be happy with rather than at home being on an emotional roller coaster 24/7,” junior Katherine Palacios said.