Student Screen Time

( Screen time usage in IPhone settings.

By Caitlin Sandoval, Staff Writer

   With the rise of electronic use in schools and classroom activities going digital, it’s only natural that the screen time use in a student’s life is abnormally high. Combine that school use with the many other ways students access their phones for fun, and screen time use skyrockets even higher. 

 Daily Student Screen Time 

       Miami High students are in class for about 6 hours each day, but their screen time use can easily exceed this amount. Sophomore Heather Alonso has a daily screen time of 9 hours and 9 minutes before the school day is over, with the majority of those hours being on TikTok. Sophomore Joshua Funes has a daily screen time of 6 hours and 48 minutes before the dismissal bell. 

    Both students were fully aware their screen times would exceed 5 hours a day, with Heather Alonso stating, “I have nothing better to do during the day.” 

    Students tend to get bored within their classes when the lesson disinterests them, leading them to pull out their phones and mindlessly scroll through their favorite applications. Popular apps amongst the students with a higher screen time than average are TikTok and Instagram, with most times on the apps averaging to about 4 hours per day on each. 

     Screen Time v.s. Work & Mental Health 

    When it comes to screen time, mental health, and work ethic, there’s a variety of negative things that those with higher screen times face. Sophomore Karla Arzola believes she would be a better person if her phone wasn’t on her at all times. Junior Chelsea Cajan agrees, saying, “I feel like I’ve become lazier, or less productive in a way.” 

    The article What is Responsible Screen Time?” posted on the website for EVERFI Digital Wellness says, “Screen time can have a negative impact on individuals who do not balance social lives, contributing to poor self-esteem, and poor social perceptions…”  

    However, English teacher Dr. Suarez, whose daily screen time reads 9 hours and 2 minutes,does not believe her screen time affects her mental health or her work ethic in a negative way. She says, “I think it’s because I’m older, so it doesn’t really interfere with my day.”  

 Differing Screen Times 

     When asked the difference between the screen time of students and that of their friends and families, many responded with the same answer. Junior Lelanie Flores states her screen time was much higher: “I’m usually at home on my phone while my friends and family are out being productive.” 

   Senior Abraham Martinez, however, had a much lower screen time than his friends and family. He believes that being on the phone too much takes away from the time you could be spending with those special people, as well as work. 

   Junior Mariana Cardenas agrees, responding, “I’m the one who uses my devices more but I know how to use them properly.” 


A Day Without The Phone 

     Normally, when the concept of shutting off all technology for a singular day is brought up, it sounds relatively easy to accomplish. A day without the phone can be a delicacy to many: no social media to worry about, no vision headaches, just a day of natural entertainment. Math teacher Mr. Brborich agrees, stating that he would absolutely love an entire day without his phone. 

   However, many students seem to disagree with the task being easy. With the amount of screen time spread throughout the world from both Millennials and Gen Z, the mere thought of being without their phone for more than a few hours can be anxiety-inducing. Abraham Martinez, despite having the lowest amount of screen time amongst his friends and family, would not do it. He says, “I need to do certain things on my phone.” 

   Dr. Suarez also believes that she could not go a day without her phone. She says, “I think that’s weird,” as her phone is her primary source of communication with others as well as a tool she uses for her work. 

Alternatives to Being on Your Phone

  • Read a book, newspaper, or comic 
  • Make plans for later on 
  • Go for a walk
  • Take a nap 
  • Pick up a hobby 
  • Paint a picture  
  • Organize your room 
  • Play a board game 
  • Meditate