Are we “addicted” to our devices?

Our relationship to technology may become problematic

Stephanie Calvillo-Martinez, Photo Editor

The internet has turned our world upside down. It has become a habit for many, and it became an everyday preferred way of communication.

What started as something small that could only be accessed through a computer but it has grown within time now offers unlimited access – the speed of this transformation has caught many people’s attention and it keeps getting faster with time.

“The internet has taken over many students’ and adults’ lives” says Joscelyn Martinez, an Enochs High School graduate. “It has become a part of their everyday life, like an addiction. It’s used for everything now and there is nothing that can stop this.”

By calling it an addiction, many parents are concerned about whether this is a good thing for their children to be using. They are concerned about their health and their futures.

The amount of time that is being spent on the internet can be questionable depending on whether they are unhealthily engaged. All activities that are being done online are activities that were done in the past online such as socializing with peers, shopping, listening to music, watching television, schoolwork, and playing games. In a 2016 survey by Common Sense Media, half the teenagers said they felt like they’re addicted to their devices. They also said they felt like they needed to immediately respond to texts and look at every notification that comes up.

“Addiction isn’t the word I would use to describe this situation.” said Karen Garcia, 2015 Enochs graduate. “Addiction is something that you would be addicted to – in this case we aren’t addicted to our phones. We don’t need them in order to get through our day – yeah it’s nice to have one but we don’t need it in order to function.” 

While it may be the same as physical addiction, most parents have experienced their kids get angry when a mobile device is being taken away from them – they’ve grown to use these devices everyday and have to use them everyday for school online and after school hours to do homework that is being assigned to them. Students, of all ages, are becoming more reliant on technology and having these devices around all the time. Technology keeps progressing every year and it will keep progressing. 

As a parent it is important to manage their kids’ time on their devices to prevent future problems with their health. The key is to help parents set appropriate boundaries on these devices, such as understanding what their kids are doing online and to feel confident that their kids are doing the right thing online and offline.