By Brenda Bolouvi and Rachel Houng
Developments within civilization have enabled an unprecedented progression in the way people interact. What had formerly been a face-to-face conversation has presently turned into a series of direct messages among family, friends, and teachers. Due to this, screen times have begun increasing as waves of students gained the opportunity to access vast amounts of information with just the tap of a finger.
Due to COVID-19, New Hyde Park Memorial High School students have begun utilizing their electronics far more than before. It is past the point of mere texting; various social media apps, games, and productivity applications have aided in the rise of screen time among students. All have become dependent on their iPads and phones for classes on Google Meet, schoolwork, club activities, and events that are usually held in the building.
The Chariot recently surveyed the students at New Hyde Park Memorial through a Google Form in order to see the effects of this past year on screen time.
Source by Olivia Wong
More than 50% of surveyed students reported that their daily average screen time was over five hours.
For the majority of students across all six grades, their high average screen time was attributed to remote learning.
“[The reason for the increase was] most definitely remote learning; I have to look at Google Meet for most of the day,” said eighth grader Kailey Chan.
“Being online has definitely made concentrating more difficult. Because we are online and don't have to turn on our cameras in many classes, it feels like it is easier to get away with not paying attention,” said sophomore Anna Detke.
However, many have also accredited the increase in screen time to boredom because they are home all day, every day. Remote learning has also impacted mental health because attending school online does not have the same implications as a normal school year.
“[My screen time increased because] there was nothing to do, as well as a lack of motivation,” said seventh grader Kara Tijoe.
Source by Anna Detke
Many students have found that remote learning has contributed to their increasing screen times on their devices, feeling as if they have more opportunities to use their phones if they are attending school from home.
Since the pandemic resulted in the inability to interact with people in person, many students have found that the easiest way to communicate is the utilization of online or virtual formats, which caused a rise in time spent calling or texting friends and family.
“Since I can’t meet people in person, I FaceTime or text them,” said seventh grader Nuha Kotwal.
“My screen time has definitely increased since the pandemic and I would attribute that to collaborative work and communicating and keeping in touch with friends and family. Since a lot of my friends are fully remote, I, as a hybrid student, have lost the ability to see and talk and hangout with them in person. In order to keep in touch, we talk and text more, tag each other in TikToks, and send each other snaps,” said freshman Grace Heskial.
“All have become dependent on their iPads and phones for classes on Google Meets, schoolwork, club activities, and events that are usually held in the building...”
As screen times vary among students, it is evident that within the New Hyde Park Memorial High School community, TikTok and YouTube are the apps that people spend most of their time on. Out of over 260 responses, 29.8% of students spend most of their time on TikTok while 24.5% of students spend most of their time on YouTube. 54.3% of all votes were attributed to these two apps alone.
“We were more isolated from the outside world, so being on social media was the only way people communicated and knew what was going on,” said senior Melanie Kahn.
“An increase in screen time is a result of not being able to do as many things as we used to. With stress, we look at social media to help us not feel alone and feel like everything is normal,” said junior Areesha Imran.
The rise in screen time can be seen as a direct reflection of this past year, but had varying effects on NHP students across all grades.