This was on the news a few weeks ago. Apparently this is a real “disease” lots of teenagers “suffer” from.
Okay, let me be clear here. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. What with angsty teens desperately clinging to their smartphones at all times and such. But it’s still sad to see that this is such a widespread phenomenon for it to get news coverage.
People who suffer from social media stress (ironically abbreviated to SMS) get extremely uneasy and uncomfortable when they can’t “update their status” or “message their friends” every five minutes or so. They have stated they “never go anywhere without [their] smartphone”, so they’re always connected one way or another.
Why is this? A possibility is peer pressure. In modern-day society it’s considered “uncool” to not have a Facebook account, and one must actively use it in order to fit in with the crowd.
So teens want to stay in touch with their friends. That’s not so bad, now is it? Think again.
Lots of teenagers have reported they keep their smartphone turned on and next to their beds whilst they sleep. This can result in a disrupted sleep pattern, as the occasional jingle made by the device is bound to wake the sleeper up. And worse, some people even start participating in any discussion after checking the update that woke them.
Not only that, but school achievements suffer from this, too. Even in class, where they’re technically not allowed to be used, smartphones are constantly allowing teenagers to be in touch with each other and the internet. This results in less attention being paid to the teacher, inevitably leading to lower grades. (This isn’t always the case, but a common cause.)
I think we can all agree that this is insane, and it should stop. We’ve reached the point where people are saying “the worst thing that could happen to me was if x confiscated / I lost my phone”. We’ve gone more than far enough, and I think it’s time to head back. Not to the stone age, mind you, but back to a more sophisticated use of portable devices, and an ever-so-slightly less buzzing social state of the internet.