Students lack communication skills


Kirstyn Hood

Wow. A student pulled up their screen time to reveal a six hour and fifty-five minute screen time average.

Tap, tap, tap. That’s all I hear coming from kids anymore. Their thumbs rapidly typing against their phone screen, lost in the world of technology. 

It is a common thing I see. Teenagers are spending more time on their phones than with each other. I remember when I went to my cousin’s birthday party. There were about 20 or more kids there, yet not a single one of them said more than “hello” to one another. Everyone  sat in silence, staring at their phones. Some even texted each other. 

How many hours do you spend on your phone each day?


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When I was younger, I used to love nature and being outside. As I got older, and I was given a phone, my love for the outside dwindled. I lived in a very small neighborhood with no more than 25 houses. All the kids would go out and play right after school. Then, once the sun set, we all made our way back to our houses, waiting to do it again tomorrow. I was inseparable from being outside. I wanted nothing else than to run around. Then I got my phone and suddenly this changed. I still went outside; however, it was never as long as before. I would go out back outside and I would only be out there for maybe two hours before I got bored and went back inside to my phone. 

When teenagers are on their phones, they are losing their communication skills. Most kids simply can’t hold a conversation, yet they can text each other while being in the same room. This is reflected not only in their friendships but in school as well. 

My dad tells me all the time how when he was in high school kids used to give presentations, talk with friends through the halls, and actually talk to them face to face. This is something I see lacking in my generation. We are all so worried about social media and who posted what, we are forgetting to see everyone around us. 

Anxiety among teens is increasing due to the lack of communication skills. With the unlimited access to phones, the way kids now are communicating is almost entirely over the phone. It is being forgotten how to have a simple face to face conversation. The first day of school typically is filled with  anxiety. People are meeting new kids and getting new classes with people they don’t know. However, now that phones are around, and the majority of my generation has had one for years now, that feeling of anxiety is getting worse. 

Social media has played a big role in this. People, including myself, appear a certain way on social media, but they don’t always look or act this way in real life. Social media is beginning to consume teenagers’ lives for the worst. According to Teen Stress and Anxiety 9.1 percent of teens have a diagnosed social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety is becoming more common among teens. The things that teens used to enjoy as little kids are now things they fear. 

A prime example of this is simply talking to another person. Young kids are full of life, energetic, happy, always talking and teens could not be more of the opposite. We form groups, and it is very rare to see kids stray from their groups. However, that doesn’t mean they talk. Most friendships in today’s time are built through a phone. Everything they do with each other can be found on at least one of their phones. Instead of enjoying the time being spent together they have to get a picture for their spam account or want to show others what they are up to. 

It is bizarre to think how consumed this generation is with technology. I know many will say they can’t cut down on their phone use, but it is possible. According to Headphones Addict , the average screen time for a teenager in one day is seven and a half hours. School begins at 7:40 a.m. and ends at 2:40 p.m.. That is eight hours in school. Leaving just 16 hours left in the day, not including when we sleep. That information shows how much time people spend a day consumed with their phones. With just 168 hours in a week, 52.5 hours are being spent on phones. That is not including other electronics teens may be on. 

If this generation of teens don’t work to change their ways and learn to put a phone down, the future generations will be the same way. As the kids of our generation it is our job to fix this. As hard as it may be, phones need to be put down and real life interactions need to happen. If we can’t have a conversation with another person, how will we hold a job or do anything else once we leave high school? It is important things change before this world becomes solely electronics. 

So, how can we change this? The biggest and the simplest thing, put the phone down. Not only will simply putting the phone down help us begin to have face to face conversations, it will allow us to potentially be more productive. 

I take my phone with me just about everywhere. My dad complains all the time that “my eyes are glued to my screen” and I’ve noticed that he’s not entirely wrong. I would say about 70 percent of the time I am on my phone either texting people or watching something. I checked my screen time on my phone one day and it was at six hours and thirty minutes, this was baffling to me. I didn’t think I was on my phone as much as everyone says I am. I have been working on learning to put it down and do things without it. It was crazy to me to see how much more productive I am when doing homework and chores around the house when I leave my phone in another room while doing these things.

Some things people can do to help limit time on electronics is set a screen time limit on it, turn off notifications, and delete the useless apps that take up space and time, and when charging your phone plug it in further away from your phone. These are just some of the ways teens could help to limit their screen time and allow them to get back into the real world.