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Sectioning Screen Time

PRHS students share views on different types of screen time and the resulting health implications
Sectioning Screen Time

The average bearcat screen time is about five hours, according to a survey of 42 students, a small number compared to the national average screen time of seven hours 38 minutes a day. PRHS students spend much less time on their screens than the rest of the country, but this is a self-submitted optional survey that might not fully represent the school population. Too much screen time leads to negative effects on both physical and mental health, as well as academic performance. From the survey, 91% of Bearcats believe that time spent on social media has the worst

Braydon Llamas (12)

overall effects on the user. Their average screen time is five hours, but the harm this can cause varies depending on how they are spending their time.


The first type is educational screen time; any screen time related to school or doing homework. Educational screen time is not harmful to adolescents; it is actually shown to have favorable educational outcomes, leaving children more persistent without any effects on mental or physical health 42.9% of students say that some of their screen time is used for educational purposes.


The next type of screen time is interactive. Interactive screen time, such as computer games, was not associated with any negative effects despite many popular beliefs. Computer games alone are even associated with positive educational outcomes. Nate Michell (10), who said he plays video games on average five hours a day on top of five hours on his phone, believes they are not as addictive to him as other types of screen time: “I play a lot of video games, but I can just get off of it,” Michell says. He explains how he can sometimes even get some

Nate Mitchell (10)

homework done in between matches while playing video games, but it still has an effect on his grades. As Dylan Lewis (10) said: “I’ll actually say it could (have a positive effect on my mental health) because a lot of the time I spend with my friends outside of school is during video games.” Brayden Llamas (12) has about 12 hours of average screen time with about four hours daily being video games. He explains while playing video games: “Time flies when I do it, and it gets in the way of some stuff.” Llamas says interactive screen time affects him the most, but the downsides are not as concentrated as the effects of YouTube or TikTok.

I’m addicted to TikTok. I can’t get off of it.

— Nate Mitchell


The third type of screen time is passive, which includes activities like T.V., and has negative effects on all levels, it is associated with: “worse psychological outcomes, poorer health outcomes, and lower educational outcomes in unadjusted and adjusted models.’’ “Watching TikTok is the worst thing I can do, and I do a lot of it,” Michell openly admits. He goes as far as to say: I’m addicted to TikTok. I can’t get off of it.” He explained how in the past his addiction to this type of entertainment screen type affected him very negatively: “In the summer I was horrible. I would stay on TikTok like three in the morning every night,” Michell said. Parker Keep (9), agrees that passive screen time has the worst effect on the user: “Watching YouTube or T.V. (has the worst effects) because you’re not really doing anything. On social media, you at least see what other people are doing…so watching YouTube is just you, by yourself, doing nothing,” Keep said. However, Keep sees the benefits YouTube has on his physical health: “But sometimes if you’re on Youtube to find workouts or sports skills it can help (my physical health).” While these two students believe it has the worst overall effects on the user, the student population does not agree with only 2.4% saying it is the worst. Passive screen time

Parker Keep (9)

could be flying under the radar as a threat for the 97.6% of students who are not worried about it.


Dylan Lewis (10), calling on his flip phone.

The final type of screen time has been in the spotlight recently: social screen time. Social screen time is “linearly associated with poorer health-related quality of life, higher reactivity, and worse socio-emotional outcomes for the prosocial, emotional, and conduct subscales’’ according to: Type of screen time moderates effects on outcomes in 4013 children. Lewis believes social screen time has the worst overall effects: “When it comes to the worst effects I would definitely say social media with the pressures it can cause.” A student survey at PRHS shows that about 90% of students agree with Lewis that social media screen time has the worst effects on the user, but at that same time, 35.7% of those students say they spend the greatest percentage of their time on social media, a large majority.

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About the Contributor
Brian Arndt, Health Editor

Brian Arndt is a sophomore in his first year in journalism, currently working as the Health Editor. He runs varsity Cross Country and track and has aspirations to run in college. He hopes to grow his writing and photography skills in Crimson Newsmagazine.

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