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Increasing technology brings about distracted students

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Increasing technology brings about distracted students

Maddie Kirkegaard

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More students are becoming distracted by technology. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

More students are becoming distracted by technology. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

All day, students are faced with the constant distractions of technology. Whether it’s texting a friend or posting a status on Facebook, students are often torn away from their schoolwork by the many diversions of their digital lives.

 

“It’s becoming a 21st century skill to unplug,” Education in the Digital Age teacher Kristen Pelfrey said.

 

While Pelfrey’s class teaches students about the wonders of the digital world, it also emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries in the amount of time students spend online.

 

Pelfrey suggests that students get a timer to help them stay on track and not waste their time surfing the web.

 

“Staying up late with constant stimulation from technology has an effect on [students’] brains,” Pelfrey said.

 

Studies have shown that teens from low income families are especially susceptible to wasting time online. A study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that young adults from low income families spend four and a half more hours of screen time than teens from higher income families. The study also shows that 47 percent of teens who are heavy technology users say that they get poor grades.

 

The average media use among teens is seven and a half hours per day. However, not all students spend this much time immersed in their digital lives.

Many Foothill students tend to spend less time online than the national average.

 

“I usually spend one hour a day on social networking. Part Tumblr, Facebook, and Skype,” sophomore Nicolle Martin said.

 

“I spend 45 minutes on social media on a school day,” sophomore Amanda English said.

 

This may be a result of students underestimating the amount of time they truly spend on social media. What starts as a quick check of their newsfeed often ends up as hours of surfing the web.

 

“Students need to be more conscious of the time they are spending on social networking,” Pelfrey said. 

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Increasing technology brings about distracted students