Sierra Canyon High School

iPhone; iAddicted: Is tech taking over your life?

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(Image courtesy of Sam Goodman)

I know for a fact that my children will not have cell phones before the age of ten. There is just no need.

Picture a one-year-old sitting in a stroller, swiping and tapping on their parent’s phone before they can even walk or talk. Before some infants’ first birthdays, they have handled a smartphone, and by the time they are three, they can navigate devices without any help. Ten years ago, you would commonly see a toddler playing with a toy car, but now, that toy is an iPad. Personally, I would prefer that my child learn to walk and talk before they learn to text.

“I don’t know if it’s in the DNA nowadays, but my children [of the ages two and four] took to phones and tablets very quickly. They already love the idea of using phones and computers for taking pictures, and my children have been on FaceTime and Skype since they were infants, so for them it is a normal way to converse with relatives,” English teacher Mario Garcia said.

According to a survey done by Pediatrics, most children by the age of six months (97 percent of children surveyed) have used a mobile device or computer. The survey also found that out of 350 children, 20 percent of one-year-olds own tablets and 28 percent of two- year- olds could navigate a mobile device with no help. 

“Every kid has a phone that they are using constantly, and I can’t say that for five years ago. It now can become an inconvenience because students are using it and relying on it so heavily that they sometimes forget to think for themselves,” Garcia said.

The current generation of children are digital natives, people who grew up with technology and rely on it heavily for many aspects of their lives—too many. In 2005, YouTube and Facebook had just been launched worldwide, and it was not until 2006 that Twitter was released, followed by the iPhone in 2007. So many people have grown so attached to both the apps and the technology that the question arises whether it is helping or hurting relationships. In the golden age of radio, between 1920 and 1950, families would sit around the radio listening to their favorite stations. But, before radios, TVs, computers, and cellphones, families used to talk to each other more, and play games, and spend time together. Fast forward 50 years, and now everyone in the family has their own device. They each sit in their own room and use that device for hours.

“The technology has affected the student’s attention span, it affects their patience and it is unthinkable to them to go anywhere without their phones,” Music teacher Susan Brindley said.

Academics are also put at stake with the disruptiveness of technology. The constant buzzing and beeping is so distracting, school work can be pushed aside.

“Whenever I do schoolwork, I have to put my phone away and turn it off because it can be very distracting and sometimes I don’t get to finish my homework because of it,” said freshman Bella Wayans.

Although technology has greatly enhanced our world today, it has also negatively impacted aspects of our lives. We all have to set our personal rules for technology. It is up to us to decide whether we will have the willpower to put down our phones or let technology take over our lives.

Which will you choose?