Is too much screen time harmful?


Megan McCall, Writer

At Loyola, we use our iPads everyday for worksheets, homework, videos and so much more. Thousands of schools have switched over to only using screens in their schools because they save paper, help students stay organized and make communication between students and teachers easier. But, how do we know it’s not doing more harm than good? 

Younger kids who use iPads consistently may face long term effects including loss of cognitive function, weight gain, eye problems and learning disabilities. More than 1,000 K-12 schools use Apple technology every day. 

iPads provide a crutch for children because of the spell check, grammar check, and so much more. Because iPads use a spell check feature, grammar and spelling scores have gone down drastically. Kids can now rely on their device to spell for them, instead of their own knowledge. 

In a recent study recorded by the Huffington Post, it stated that if a child at the age of three and a half watches over an hour of television everyday, their likelihood of having ADHD goes up significantly. This is irreversible damage for children so young when ADHD is usually diagnosed at seven years old. ADHD in children has been known to come with other disorders including anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.  

“I think that iPads can be a huge distraction for students in school due to the fact that iPads contain games and other apps that students play throughout the school day. These distractions prevent me and other students from learning our course work and our performance in school,” said a Loyola senior. 

Students are also relying on their iPads for typing instead of writing. Typing too much can make their handwriting less legible. This is not only because they are used to typing, but also because their motor skills are not as developed as they should be. 

As a high school student myself, I understand how distracting an iPad can be.  The temptations of social media can sometimes overtake the dedication to a class. In a survey, 43% of students showed signs of being addicted to their iPad. Too much screen time can result in antisocial behavior. Because of this, students are more likely to stay inside which results in decreased bone density and skin problems. 

The use of iPads in schools is not only bad outcomes. However, they do help students navigate technology better which may one day help them with jobs. Schools should look at the positives and negatives of using technology consistently in schools. A child’s mental well-being should always come first.