The Smoke Signal

Technology at our fingertips

PV junior discusses phone and computer usage

Sevan Gulleyan, Staff Writer

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As I scrolled through various social media apps, the harsh light from my cell phone made me squint my eyes. I glanced at the digital clock. 3:00 a.m. “I have to be up in three hours,” I thought to myself. “It’s too late to bother starting that Physics homework.” Where had the time gone? How had 12 hours gone by since I got home at 3 p.m. and I had not completed a single problem?

In this modern, technological age, it is hard to pay attention to school work when we have the world at our fingertips. Whether you are alone or with friends, family, or classmates, the majority of people will be intrigued to glance down at their computer or phone screen. We have become so accustomed to the comfort of not having to talk to someone face to face that we grab for our phones rather than interact with the people around us. 

About how many hours a day do you spend looking at a screen?

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According to a survey conducted by the Journal of Media Education, 97 percent of college students are distracted by phones during class. Although most college students are given more freedom during their classes, this survey only accounted for smartphones — it did not include distraction from computers — which is a more prominent component in our educational lives here at Pascack Valley.

In a way, it is good that our access to technology is somewhat limited during school. If we had constant access to our phones during the school day, many students would struggle to focus during class and their grades would suffer as a result.

Though the administration has blocked many websites, students can still get distracted by notifications from Twitter, unread emails, or YouTube videos. It is inevitable that something is going to grab the attention of students during class.

A study conducted by the University of California, Irvine, found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. Essentially, this means that we go through the day without ever being in full concentration. For those who can see their grades slipping, the root of the problem could be a lack of attentiveness.

I am not saying that having our phones and computers are a problem — if any changes were to be made, I think I would be as mad as anyone else. It is in our best interest to cut down on the amount of time we spend looking at a screen. We have no idea what the effects of this activity has on us — we are the first generation to utilize this technology.

In an ideal world, there would be a perfect balance between work and its distractions, but in many cases, one often conquers the other. It is up to students to make their own choices and decide what is really more important in their life.  

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Technology at our fingertips