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Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Staff Editorial: Hundreds of phone notifications are affecting teenagers behavior negatively

Teenagers receive hundreds of notifications daily and they need to recognize the effects their notifications are having on them
By Olivia Peters

You’re sitting at dinner with your family and your phone buzzes. You know you shouldn’t check it, but you do anyway. This urge and its response is common for students now, but maybe it shouldn’t be.  

Everyone knows teens spend a lot of time on their phones, so much so that a research study shows teens get around 200 notifications a day. It is important for teens to understand how these constant notifications affect them and how they can stop the overwhelming sense to pick up their phone every time they get an alert.

A new report released by Common Sense Media, studied 200 students ages 11-17 and observed teens get an average of 237 notifications or more in one day, with about 25% of those coming during the school day. The research reveals that constant notifications make it hard for teens to detach from their phones.

A CNN article about the common sense media study reported that excessive phone use and pressure to respond can cause anxiety and stress even if teens aren’t aware of the effects. This is present in the fact that teens feel overwhelming amounts of anxiety over being detached from their phones.

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Some of this anxiety is driven by social media use. Teens use a variety of apps but social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Youtube occupy most of teens’ time with about 42% of all screen time being spent on social media.

This time on social media is not all negative; teens nowadays are more informed and have  more access to current events through social media than ever before. A Pew Research Center survey revealed teens believe that social media allows them to feel more connected and gives them access to more information. 

While phones can have a positive impact, it is also important to limit usage especially during school hours. The school’s student handbook states that students are not allowed to be on their phones during classroom hours, but that doesn’t stop most students. The best way to deal with phone usage during school is just to turn it off or silence notifications, which can be done using the focus feature on Apple products.   

One way parents can help their teens limit screen time is by setting a good example. By silencing their notifications and limiting their own screen time, it sets an example for their kids as to what proper phone usage looks like. 

Anyone can get caught up in the glamor of social media and although the constant notifications might make teens feel good, it is important to remember that ultimately teens are the only ones who can help themselves. Teens have to be able to limit their own screen time and know when to turn the notifications off.  

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About the Contributors
Olivia Peters
Olivia Peters, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is senior Olivia Peters’ first year on the JagWire staff. She is exploring all roles this year: writing, designing and taking photos. Outside of journalism, she is president of Mill Valley’s SNHS, captain of the Color Guard, vice-president of Youth for Refugees and secretary of the Women’s Empowerment Club. She is also involved in NEHS, Model UN and Scholar’s Bowl. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys reading, working as a gymnastics coach, and playing dungeons and dragons.

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