Monday, November 14, 2011

Teens who use electronics too much hurt grades?

Participants in the Young Voices forum weighed in today on whether young people use electronic devices too much, affecting their grades and their behavior negatively. That's what some studies are showing. One Kaiser Family study said the "average" young person - those aged 8-18 - spent 7 hours a day using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device - and that's not counting texting and talking on a cellphone. Heavy use is associated with behavior problems and lower grades. Charlotte-area students were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with that. Here's a sampling of their responses show. For complete responses of all who participated, go to

From Laney Smith, 14, North Stanly High School , New London: I do agree. The average teen spends a lot of time on smart phones, texting and computers. However I do think this is just the way of our society and how we communicate. Years ago people talked on the telephone, wrote letters and visited with neighbors. But now this is how we express our feelings and communicate.

From Joseph Morgan, 13, Community House Middle School, Charlotte: I think it is true that heavy electronic use can result in lower grades and behavioral problems. It is bad because it takes out time you can be spending with friends, doing homework, exercising, etc. It is also bad if a young person were to play a violent game such as Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty. This can cause behavioral problems if they take the game seriously.

From JosuĂ© Valle, 14, E.E. Waddell Language Academy, Charlotte: I am a gamer with good grades, and great behavior. I know about the recent studies about the “average” young person spending more than 7 hours on an electronic device. You could say that I am not the “average” young person. I spend most of my free time watching TV, but I love computer games. For Christmas, because of my grades, I am getting an X-box 360.


Timothy Whitson said...

We're the proud parents of an Honor Student at Western Carolina. She is constantly on FB or Twitter, but just as frequently texting us with what is goiing on in her day. Perhaps it takes her 3 hours study time to accomplish what someone who doesn't use the Internet could do in two, but so far the proof is in the pudding. She could just as easily skip studying altogether and choose to go see/hang out with her circle of friends, but I also think that rapid communication allows quick help with missed notes, or a different thought path from one of her peers in class. I know there are many nights she would just as soon be "out" with her friends, but chooses to stay in and study while keeping up with the latest electronically. No human being can effectively study more than 30-40 minutes without a break anyway, so these 15 minute "side trips" actually allow her to re-boot for another round.

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