Newest Teen Addiction Ruining Relationships


Students Lilly Partovi and Jovana Durovic during lunch

Aleksandra Markovic, Staff Writer

Recently, I noticed that my peers make more facial expression on Snapchat than in real life. We’re becoming Huxley’s worst nightmare. Just as his fiction predicted, what we love is now slowly ruining us.

According to a poll conducted by nonprofit organization Common Sense, half of the teenage population today are addicted to their phones. This is a real thing, and it’s an extremely difficult pattern of behavior to break. I’m telling you this, addict to addict.

There are many reasons why phones are so addictive to teens. They’re simple gadgets that give you almost everything you need, from remembering important dates to questioning Google about a “deadly” mole that appeared on your hand.

It’s not that I don’t like phones. I just think that many of us are too connected or attached to them,” said math teacher Petro Petreas. “Why do people post about their lives? Because people want to know about other people. Why are people really posting all the time? They’re trying to portray a certain image,” he said.

Social media has continued to grow with the increased popularity of smartphones, but the need to create a superficial record of one’s experiences is a sad distraction from being in the actual moment. Why does an outing with friends end up as just a collection of temporary Snaps?

English teacher Nathan Ward said  he thinks kids are “missing out on the ability to actually have a real human conversation with another person.” 

Like Ward, Petreas wishes students would unplug. “It’s not about having more and more rules, but I would think that there would be more common sense,” Petreas said. “I mean, how do you teach your daughter ‘you probably shouldn’t take naked pictures of yourself and send them’? I mean, I hope I don’t have to go over that lesson.”

The increased dependence upon personal devices and the apparent need for teens to live their lives online can have disastrous consequences. One example is the case of Amanda Todd who became a victim of cyber exploitation after connecting with a stranger through social media. She committed suicide in 2012, at the age of 15.

Most of us learned of her story via a YouTube video that now has almost 20 million views. The awful irony of our generation is illustrated by this. We live in a world where some find it easier to reach out on line than to find comfort confiding with loved ones face to face.

I use my phone when I really need to, which doesn’t include checking the feedback of my newest Instagram post. Using my phone is more tempting now than it used to be, since a lot of my friends choose to reach out to me through the Internet, but I try my best to ignore it.

I know cellphones and social media are not likely to fall completely out of favor. I do hope, however, that a new consciousness about the consequences of becoming addicted to them will motivate you to put them aside, perhaps even turn them off, and look up once in a while.