Teens and screens

Students reflect on just how much they use their phones

It’s a well-known stereotype that teenagers spend all their time on their phones, but just how much truth does it hold?  According to the Washington Post, teens average at 7 hours and 22 minutes of screen time per day, not including time spent on schoolwork.  While some students may spend half the day with their faces buried in their screens, others see their phones as indulgences for the end of the day.  Their screen time totals reveal just how much they rely on their devices.


Asha Spetter, sophomore’s, average screen time


Asha Spetter:

“Life is pretty boring,” Asha Spetter, sophomore, said. “I think that there’s so much in the world that happens on your phone so you have to use it to get informed of daily news.”

The main use of her phone can be attributed to communicating, Spetter says.  The apps she frequents most are social media platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, or messages.  Oftentimes Spetter says that she uses her phone to ask questions about homework along with talking to friends.

“A lot of using your phone has to do with communication with people,” Spetter said.  “I can talk to my friends and check up with them which is pretty fun.”

Spetter says her phone usage typically is the longest in the mornings before school or at night before bed as she tries not to let it interfere with her schoolwork.  Her sparse usage throughout the day leaves her with a lower screen-time.


Ryan Donnan, sophomore’s, average screen time


Ryan Donnan:

In a similar vein, Ryan Donnan, sophomore, also says that his phone is mainly used to interact with friends online.

“I use WhatsApp and Instagram a lot to talk to people,” Donnan said.  “ I also have one game that I end up spending a lot of time on, it’s called Fire Emblem Heroes.”

While being addicted to his screen is not a huge issue, Donnan says that when he was in e-learning that his phone “did get in the way of paying attention” in his classes.  Now that he has switched into attending all five days of in-person learning, he says that he feels like it’s not an issue anymore.


Anna Yoon, senior’s, average screen time


Anna Yoon:

“Normally I’m just kind of browsing social media and watching funny videos or looking at things my friends have posted,” Anna Yoon, senior, said.  “I usually spend the most time on either Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok I think.”

Yoon says that she thinks she probably accumulates the most of her screen-time on the app TikTok because it’s easy to get distracted by the typically less than a minute long videos watching what she thinks “are a couple of videos, but then a lot more time passes than [she] thinks.”

“I definitely get sidetracked sometimes when I’m supposed to be doing something that’s productive,” Yoon said.  “ I don’t know if I should necessarily use my phones less, but I feel like my phone can be a problem when it stops me from doing what I need to do.”


Kieran Keith, junior’s, average screen time


Kieran Keith:

“I use my phone a lot,” Kieran Keith, junior, said.  “I use Twitter mainly, but I’ll also spend time on YouTube and Instagram on the side. Sometimes it’s a little bit ridiculous how much I use [my phone].”

Part of the appeal Keith says there is of using his phone comes from having a favorite app, Twitter.  The broad public forum and short content allow him to spend hours looking at his screen.

“It’s pretty addictive,” Keith said.  “There’s just a lot of people on it and it’s a nonstop feed of just everything interesting there is.  Realistically speaking, I should probably use my phones less but it’s probably not going to happen.”


Chloe Kaczmarek, sophomore’s, average screen time


Chloe Kaczmarek:

Chloe Kaczmarek, sophomore, represents more extreme phone usage with an average screen-time of 9 hours per day just this week.

“I use it a lot to listen to music, talk to my friends, or for online shopping,” Kaczmarek said.  “My favorite app is TikTok and I definitely spend the most time on that, I also use the app Depop to find clothes and things.”

While Kaczmarek says she feels she should probably rely on her phone less, she also says that she doesn’t “mind being on it all day because [she] uses it to talk to [her] friends.

“Sometimes it can get in the way of school and things but it’s a lot easier to be off of it now that school is in-person,” Kaczmarek said.  “ I might be supposed to cut down on how much I use my phone a little, but I kind of depend on it to get through the day.”