By Amanda Young, ‘11, News Section Editor
According to the Jan. 20 New York Times article, “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online,” each day the average American youth (ages eight to 18) spends more than seven and a half hours in front of a screen, an hour and a half texting, a half-hour on a cell phone, and another hour with some other form of electronics, for a total of eleven hours daily of use. Many students at CCDS log similar hours, but the effects of the large amount of media time vary among students.
“I probably spend an hour on my phone a day, and on a normal day maybe seven to nine hours on my computer…I probably listen to music for three to four hours,” Ilana Habib, ‘11, said.
However, Habib said that much of her media time is necessary for her extracurriculars, such as her photo business and positions on The Scroll and Archive. “I would say that my extracurricular time would actually be diminished as I spend less time on the computer,” Habib explained.
Also, she spends on average four hours a day using her computer for school-related purposes such as homework and note taking. “I often listen to music as I work as it helps me think faster,” Habib added.
“I think it could either help or hurt. But, for me it probably helps more,” Senior Fabrizio Aguirre said of his time spent on electronics.
However, other students find their excessive time with electronics each day is often detrimental.
“My grades would be so much better if I wasn’t distracted because I’m Internet addicted,” an anonymous junior said. While she spends on average six to seven hours on her computer daily, only 30% of the time is used for educational purposes. Nevertheless, she enjoys her computer time.
“I love every minute of it. My hobby is browsing the Internet,” the junior said.
“I think it is hurting you…If it’s in the summer and you can go swimming and do other things, I’m probably on my computer instead,” Adrienne Walton, ‘12, said.
Similarly, the study reported on in the New York Times article found a correlation between heavy media users and poor grades, with 47% of those who devoted at least 16 hours a day towards electronics use earning mostly C grades or lower in school, compared with 23% of those who devoted three hours or less. While this particular study did not find a connection between heavy users and obesity, past studies have.
Of the people interviewed, the computer was generally the most time consuming electronic. When asked what gadget they spent a majority of their hours using, the junior that asked to remain anonymous, Habib, Aguirre, Jordan Komnick, ‘11, and Dorian Bell, ‘12, credited their computers.
Only Walton answered the question differently by saying that her “iPod and cell phone,” took up the majority of her near 14 hours spent on electronics daily.
While the students interviewed spent at most half of their computer time for school related purposes, they overall felt that using laptops is beneficial during the school day.
“I love having my laptop at school. As someone who has had their own personal computer since the age of five, I honestly can’t imagine my school day without one,” Habib said. “I find my notes are much more detailed when I take them on a computer, and as I often have problems with organization, my computer keeps me on top of my work,” Habib continued.
“It kind of adds another medium to learn through,” Aguirre added.
While Komnick said computers can be “kind of distracting,” she likes “being able to research things for class and type papers instead of handwriting them.”
According to US Head Stephanie Luebbers, “The laptops/tablets develop flexible thinking and extend the learning in the classrooms. They help students think both creatively and critically. Our students live in a world of technology that is fast changing; our use of tablets also helps our student to be adaptive learners.”
Mrs. Luebbers said that using computers for class time does not add negatively to students’ screen time, but that “students and adults alike need to find a balance of using technology for work and for play” as well as find “time without technology.”
Habib said, “At Country Day we are taught to be self-reliant when it comes to staying on task and on top of our work, and the laptop program is just a natural extension of that.”
Photo by Ilana Habib, ‘11.