As the holiday season approaches, many Berkeley High School students reach out and spend time with their loved ones, whether that be friends, family, or both. The holidays are an incredibly important time for people to connect, share joy, and catch up with people who aren’t seen frequently. There is one object that can either really help or hurt the process of connecting with loved ones – the iPhone. The iPhone, along with other devices, can distract teens from spending time with important people. However, these devices are overall more beneficial to relationships than harmful, as they have the potential to bring people far away from each other together and help them communicate in new ways.
For many teenagers, kids, and adults all across the globe, devices can take over their world quickly. Many teens spend far too much time on their phones. According to a report by Common Sense Media, teens, on average, spend seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones each day. Spending this much time on a device each day is unhealthy, and takes away from the important time they could be spending with the people around them. The holidays, in particular, are a time of coming together; devices being a distraction around this time of year can cause loved ones to drift apart and become less important to one another.
However, while devices can take away from important moments spent in person with family, they can also be instrumental in bringing people together. Several people have family or friends they would love to see and spend time with in person that they can’t reach around the holidays. Not being able to see important people in one’s life can be difficult, but devices can make it a bit easier to connect.
Aarushi Bhandari, a BHS sophomore, said, “It’s nice to be able to Facetime my family that lives further away and get a chance to talk and catch up.”
For many, it is a relief to be able to communicate through Facetime, to have the ability to talk to each other, and see the faces and smiles of loved ones. In fact, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, 84 percent of teens say they are connecting with other people when using their phones. Though this may not always be family, at least some of that time could be interacting with loved friends or others that are close to them.
Though some might think that devices can only harm and do no good for people over the holidays, devices can truly help connect people if utilized carefully.
Devices can either be helpful or harmful. If overused, they can create a divide in families and friendships and take away from the connection and bonding that the holidays are all about. However, they can also bring families that are far apart together. Devices are a controversial tool that can both help and hurt but, if used properly, they do far more good than harm.