Kids’ Screen Time Rates Soar due to COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases rising in February, schools begin to shut down. In April of 2020, more than half of all the U.S public schools shut down on-site classes for the year 2019-20 and going into the year 2020-21. With students being home, it is difficult to make plans with friends and do activities because everyone has to follow the virus restrictions. According to USAtoday seventh-grade teacher Polo Thorpe said “We have many students who are new to the country. They don’t have access to a computer outside of school or the public library.” This causes transferring from paper to a computer a difficult change for some. This is why kids are spending more time on their devices.

According to VerywellFamily children in elementary schools who watch tv or even use a computer for more than 2 hours a day they are revealed to have mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety they are also capable of having social problems for example not being able to converse with peers, and they can also seek attention by being scandalous. This could develop and continue throughout their teen then adult life which will result in needing treatment.According to Amy Morin, LCSW, an Editor in Chief of Verywell Mind, said “kids who attend elementary school have a big chance of doing badly in academic testing.” Mother of three, Veronica Juarez purchased her first device for one of her kids younger than five not thinking about the consequences they would have to face. Now the child wears glasses at a young age and she has noticed a change in the child’s attitude.

Merissa Sierra a 17 year old high school senior says, “Since quarantine started, I have noticed it has affected how much i use my phone compared to when we were not in quarantine.” Having to stay at home, away from her friends, has increased Sierra’s screen time. The coronavirus is a fustreration for lots of teens because they are not able to run to hang out with friends and do fun activities, some only have the option to run to their smartphone .

A 2017 study done by students attending The University of Chicago Press Journals claims the presence of a smartphone can cause difficulty in the students focus. This could be harming the student and putting their education in danger. Sierra said “ My phone seems to get in the way while I am supposed to be doing my homework. For instance I was supposed to do 3 assignments but got distracted and started watching tik toks.”

Merissa says her siblings 8 and 11 don’t get to spend much time on their devices if it’s not school appropriate. She said “My parents will also take their time and be with them and watch over them as they learn so they are not slacking off.” She then adds “ My parents want my siblings to use their technology purposes…they don’t mind if they use their technology…not for too long because they will get it taken away.”