Phones connect us to the world. When the outside world gets disconnected from you, how have rates of phone use gone up among our students?
While the number of COVID-19 cases goes up, so does the amount of time people spend on their devices. “I spent barely any time on my phone and now I’m constantly on it,” says Virginia Kuss (20).
After constant updates on quarantine and pandemic, there is a need for entertainment to lift our spirits and most students reach for their phones. Students interviewed reported weekly phone use times ranging from 5 hours to 73 hours per week.
Phone use increased because teenagers are practicing social distancing to protect loved ones. Despite the unusual situation, hours of screen time on an average phone still used for Facetime, text, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Playing games, going on Tik Tok, watching Netflix, and online shopping are all the primary activities that are focused on in quarantine. “Before quarantine, I shopped at the town center. Now, I order all my clothes online,” says Mishal Asad (20).
Not only do people communicate with their friends through devices, but they can also continue to attend religious services. Bianca Degrado (21) uses an app for online church. “Eleven22 has an app. We recently started going there a couple months ago.”
Phone use has also increased because many school assignments can be completed using phones. Natalie Rudzinski (20) is very involved in fine arts, but what does she do when she cannot take the stage? “I was going to play practice every day. Now, I am making dance videos every week,” she said.
Everyone was excited for their upcoming trips during spring break until the pandemic got worse. Kennedy Cole (23) said, “Before quarantine, I traveled a lot, but now my biggest adventure is to the backyard or kitchen.”
Speaking of trips, many juniors have started the process of preparing for college, which includes visiting campuses. Although colleges all over the United States have closed, devices still make college visits possible. “I had several college trips planned. Now, I have to use virtual visits to learn more about the campus culture,” said Emily Lekas (21).