Student: More screen time is a problem overlooked during pandemic

Letters to the Editor

Letters+to+the+editor

To the editor:

My name is Alex Kilker and I am a junior at Lindbergh High School. This year in my human anatomy class, I have been studying the effects of screen time on people’s overall heath. After a thorough evaluation, I have concluded that screen time can be beneficial if used properly, but with over 63 percent of people spending seven hours over the “limit,” I have found screen time harmful to people’s overall health.

I have recently conducted a poll of fellow Lindbergh students to see where they lie in their screen time usage. After sending out the survey, I found that 193 students out of 282 spend six or more hours facing screen time. School time at Lindbergh is from 7:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., seven hours. As a student doing the ARC (Accelerated Remote Courses) program, I do school from home (school from Tuesday-Friday, with Monday being asynchronism). I Zoom during that time, excluding the 35 minutes for lunch.

Four days a week I already have 6 hours, 25 minutes of screen time. This isn’t accounting for time on my phone outside of school. My daily average on my iPhone is approximately 8 hours. My daily screen time has reached 14 hours and 25 minutes.

According to studies published in Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, those who have screen time of fewer than two hours a day perform better on cognitive tests based on thinking, language and memory.

Since COVID-19, my screen time has changed dramatically. I personally am feeling the effects of COVID-19 and screen time. When I was a freshman at Lindbergh, I had minimal phone and screen time. I had taken the practice ACT that year, without studying, to see where I was and received a 20.

Fast forward to 2020, my screen time was beyond the limit, and I took another practice ACT. This time I studied and prepared for it and I received a 19. Although only a one-score difference, I feel this stems from the effects of having such high screen time.

Even with being in a study class for the test, I’ve had difficulty retaining what is practiced and taught. High screen time has had a significant impact on getting good sleep, which is needed in order to have proper storage and memory function and ability.

Reading this letter, I hope some light has been cast on the other pandemic that society is facing during these dark times.

I strongly feel if attention is brought to this, there could be change for the better. As a community, and as a people, we could grow together. Perhaps you feel the same after viewing this?

Alex Kilker
Crestwood

Editor’s note: Alex and Avery, above, wrote these letters for a class project.