OPINION: Teens Should Cut Back on Phone Usage


Teenage phone usage is a big problem with this generation. The average teenager spends about 9 hours on social media per day, according to Social.com. This can affect many teens’ mental health, lead to higher cyberbullying rates, and affect teens’ sleep. Teenagers who spend an excessive amount of time on their screens need to prioritize their physical and mental aspects and take control over their screen time. 

  First, teenagers’ mental health has been poorly affected by phone usage. Some people spend more time on their phone than they do sleeping and at school. People compare themselves to people online and that can definitely negatively affect one’s mental health. According to cwla.com,  “73% of teens experience anxiety, even a mild state of panic, when they can’t find their phone, because we’ve become so entwined with our digital lives.” 

Another reason that people need to take control of their screen time is because high phone usage is making cyberbullying worse. Since teens spend a ton of time on their phones, a lot of their life is on their phone. Social media is making it easy for people to get a hold of and get bullied. If we reduce our screen time, it would make people speak to you in person instead of over the phone. A study by nationalgeograpic.com found a 70 percent increase in bullying and abusive language among kids and teens on social media and chat forums.

Finally, a high amount of phone usage also affects sleep very negatively. Phones have blue light, which can keep teens up later if they are on their phone around the time they should be going to bed. Not getting enough sleep can also affect how their body performs the next day, so they want to make sure you get enough sleep. A study from “cbsnews.com” showed that seven of 11 heavy users woke up in the afternoon on the weekends, compared with only two of the 10 light users.

Some teens and even parents say that spending a lot of time on screens is okay because they get to interact with friends as well as meet new people. Perhaps, but  there has to be a limit. If teens only talk to people online, then it’s going to be hard to interact with people in person.

Teens need to take responsibility and control their high amount of screen time, because it can affect their mental health, raise cyberbullying rates, and affect their sleep schedule. Teens can start with a small change – try spending two hours less on their phone than usual and see the difference and how it affects their life.