A Teen Tries to Balance Her Love of Her Cell Phone, Technology and Social Media With the Needs of School and a Balanced Life

A Teen Tries to Balance Her Love of Her Cell Phone, Technology and Social Media With the Needs of School and a Balanced Life


By Serena Lara-Greenberg

My phone connects me with my friends and school peers. It has brought me closer with people I know only a little, and my pocket-sized lightbox has turned them into some of my many best friends. The phone makes me feel connected in an otherwise lonely world. I see people sharing all day long about things they are doing with their friends, and it makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger. Something more important; more relevant to my life as a whole.

My phone has had a strong pull on me; it has gotten me addicted to it like a drug; studies have supported this phenomenon. Research proves that too much screen time has the same temporary effect on the brain as cocaine. This effect pulls its user to the center like a magnet, and its user can’t stop until it is physically intercepted or taken away,

It was late at night, and I had school the next day. My parents kept on coming in to my room and imploring me to give my phone to them. I was on my phone, barely even hearing them, as they stood right next to me. I just kept repeating the word “ok”. I was in my own little virtual reality, and my parents were in the real world.

Nightly, I always listen to the music I have downloaded on my phone to help me fall asleep. Thus, I typically keep the phone in my room at night. My dad moves it to my desk, away from my bed, and away from temptation. However, there have been several nights where I could feel the strong pull of the phone, almost calling me to get out of bed. I have to admit here that, although not recently, I fell under the spell and started to use the phone late at night.

I used to exercise regularly, but the phone has dragged me back from that. I still play volleyball, but I seem to have gotten lazier and lazier the more I have used it. Most of the exercise I get now are with my thumbs. I wonder how many miles I have scrolled with my fingers?

I seem to be having a more difficult time getting motivated for and doing schoolwork. My quality of work has dropped, as I feel that I just want to get back to my phone.

I am not happy with how the phone has taken over my brain. I would like to be able to pick up my phone and use it, and then just put it down, but this is proving to be more and more difficult.

When I am not using my phone, I constantly think of the changes I can make in my use of it. I would love to be able to use it daily, but would love not to be so sucked in to its massively controlling screen. At the time I think about this, I am truly serious and determined. But, once my eyes hit that screen, I don’t know what happens.

Clearly I need to make changes in my approach and use of technology, namely my phone. I have to stop using it after a certain time; I have to limit the amount of time I use it; I have to get more of a balance in my life, getting back to the activities I used to enjoy. I am promising here to make this my goal.