Technology’s Effect on High School Students

By Chloe Bernstein

How many hours do you spend on your phone each day? Have you ever intentionally left your phone at home? In the era that we are living in, technology is dominating our lives; kids are spending hours upon hours on phones, laptops, and other electronic devices.Technology has had a tremendous effect on society, and kids’ lives revolve around social media and the internet. Advanced technology gives people the ability to be more social from home and additionally gives us kids access to a wide range of information via Google. However, advanced technology is not a “pie in the sky” invention and unfortunately does come with some negatives. Phones serve as a distraction and result in less effective studying for students. Some even say “it’s not that we use technology, we live technology” – Godfrey Reggio, an American Director.

The consensus has been reached that technology has changed the world and plays a major role in our lives, but one question has remained unanswered; is technology having a positive or negative impact on society?  What are your study habits? Are you a multitasker? The mere presence of a cell phone serves as a distraction to many kids while they are studying. Although many believe that it is possible to multitask and check their phones while reading a book, it has been proven repeatedly that people are not truly focused when they are doing two activities at once. Amanda Tuzzo, a Senior, describes how cell phones are not helpful when it comes time to study by saying that “efficiency and productivity come best when I do my work without my phone close-by. When my phone is near me, I am constantly interrupted by the distractions. Although I love my phone, I strongly dislike it when it comes time to study.” When you need to focus on your work, being pulled in one million different directions by phone notifications is the last thing that you need. We are all glued to our phones and do not know how to walk through life without our “third hand.”  Some even believe that the name cell phone originates from the concept that phone users are prisoners of their cell phones; that analogy puts the word cell in the context of a jail cell. Finding a way to bridge the gap between phone usage and studying will overall benefit students and make us all more effective studiers.

According to Arthur C. Clarke, a science writer, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Aliza Hammond, a 9th Grader, agrees with this idea. Aliza loves having the ability to use Google, and she is “fascinated by it. I love the idea that all of the knowledge in the universe is right at my fingertips.” Google allows kids to become more knowledgeable about whatever they choose to learn about; information can be found about anything from zebras to who invented the first lightbulb. With Google, anything is possible. Through advanced technology, learning has become second nature, and all people have benefitted from internet access.

Imagine not being able to communicate or speak to friends after school?  Ella Javorsky, a 9th grader, has found that “FaceTime gives me the ability to communicate with relatives and friends at times when I’m not in the same room as them. I look forward to catching up with friends on the phone after a long day of school. FaceTime is also a great study tool because it allows me to talk to people in big groups and review concepts before a big test.” 

The world as we know it today would not exist without the cell phones and laptops that are found in houses all over the world – even 5 year olds are starting to get phones! Technology is helping and harming the world at the same time, but it is important to remember that technology is a tool and can be used in any way. It is our job to make sure that technology does not end up controlling us and that we do not become the tools.