Jan. 26, 2023
By Naiovy Rodriguez
According to ABC News, teenagers spend an average of seven to eight hours on their phones each day. Though this can seem troubling, there are actually a lot of advantages to spending time on one’s phone.
First, teens can form meaningful friendships online. It is much harder to go up to someone in person than communicate electronically. Adolescents who struggle to find their authentic selves, have self-image issues or are prone to be in a challenging headspace can find support systems on the internet.
Online support is much more intimate. It is not rushed and is easily accessible. Mental crisis and health hotlines are available as well as support systems on apps like Instagram or TikTok. People who share similar experiences and aren’t afraid to show how to overcome fears often have many followers that are in the same situation. This can make one feel less alone. For example, a post about struggling with depression can have millions of views and thousands of likes. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 67% of 1,316 students say social media has made them feel supported during tough times.
The beauty of the internet is that you can interact with people worldwide. You can always keep in touch with family and friends who live in your home country. Apps like WhatsApp and Skype make this easy, as they are free worldwide. It’s always nice to see and stay in contact with loved ones no matter the distance.
The beauty of the internet is that you can interact with people around the world.
Students can also use their phones for homework help. Quizlet, Socratic and YouTube are all helpful and offer resources for anything school-related. Socratic is a learning app that is partnered with Google. It assists students by giving definitions or photos as clues. Quizlet is similar to Socratic. It helps students understand their work more easily with flashcards, matching games and tests. YouTube is better for a more in-depth understanding of a subject. The platform has millions of useful videos, and all you have to do is type what you need in the search bar.
Finally, phones can be used for purposes of leisure. Scrolling through apps like Instagram and TikTok, and seeing others do something that seems fun can influence teens positively by making it easier for them to find hobbies they enjoy. Almost everyone has used Instagram and TikTok, with Instagram having 1.44 billion users and TikTok having one billion users monthly. Teens can learn a variety of skills ranging from baking to how to put on makeup on the For You Page. Furthermore, chefs or just random creators are able to post their recipes for people to see.
On Instagram, teens can keep up with their friends and see what others are posting. In fact, LHS’ athletic teams, clubs and organizations have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to keep students updated on upcoming activities, events and fundraisers. News organizations such as Fox News and the Washington Post and even The Lighthouse have social media accounts to provide followers with their most current news articles. Instagram story highlights and posts often have links in their captions that connect to their official news websites.
The internet has made life so much easier, as so much can be accomplished with the click of a button. Therefore, there is no reason teens should be criticized for using the internet.
Spending time online does not mean a person is asocial, as the internet and social media offer students new ways to develop friendships, learn, remain informed, seek support and stay connected. As long as people use it wisely, the internet is beneficial and helpful. People just need to be smart when they use it.