Phone Fiends at North Atlanta High School


Phone Fiends: Students are phone obsessed (Left to Right Kate Whilloby, Foard Martin, both juniors)

In today’s world, students seem to spend every waking minute on their phones. Eyes are locked into screens and ears are plugged into headphones as kids walk down the hall. With the little attention spans that they do have, cell phones are not helping the problem. But what are these kids spending so much time looking at?

Studies show that on average kids spend four to five hours on their phone and six and a half hours on another type of screen. Some kids spend more than half of a 24-hour period on their phone, “I was spending 15 hours on average but don’t even ask me how because I have no idea,” said junior Colin Smith.

To find out the answer to the obsession, I first asked teachers, “What do you think these kids are doing when they are constantly on their phones?” The new IB Sports, Exercise, and Health teacher Tracy Joyner likes to think that students are doing their school work but knows that they are probably scrolling through Instagram. “My gut says they are doing the wrong thing, but I really want them to be doing the right thing,” Joyner said.

Some screen time can be accounted for by schoolwork. Google Classroom allows students to see all the work they need to complete and in tandem with other apps like Google Docs students can do their work on their phones. For additional help with math, some students use Desmos for graphing, but Photomath is a fan favorite. “Photomath helps me validate my answers,” said junior Caitlin Hohenstein. “And when I don’t know how to do the problem the app shows me step by step. It’s awesome!”

Most phone users spend the majority of their time on social media. In current times, Tik Toks are being made and even more, are watched daily. Students also spend countless minutes watching YouTube, whether they watch compilations of old Vines or regularly scheduled vloggers. But social media apps that are consistently used are Instagram and Snapchat.

Students also take up a lot of phone time playing games. More collaborative games where you can play against and with friends like Clash Royale or Clash of Clans are an attention grabber. These kinds of games bring out the competition among students. However, the most addictive games also pull in many students. Games like Doodle Jump, Amaze, or Roller Splat, they are cheaply made games with little to no point other than to complete levels that are repetitive. The worst part about them is the number of ads they give, and more importantly the fact that the ads work.  “Interactive ads are the worst but also the best kinds of ads because they let me to play the game without actually downloading it,” said junior Campbell Tully. “But it doesn’t matter because I usually end up downloading it anyway.”

Now that the iPhone 11 is out, it doesn’t look like there is going to be a drop in screen time any time soon. Whether mind-numbing or aggressive and high intensive, the apps you have on your phone can tell others so much about you, and how much time you spend on your phone. Students nowadays can’t seem to break away from their cell phones. So be a pioneer and have a conversation face-to-face with someone, make a friend!