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The Demon Tattler

The student news site of Santa Fe High School

The Demon Tattler

The student news site of Santa Fe High School

The Demon Tattler


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Commentary: The Reality of Cell Phones


For most teenagers, we don’t find the idea of school interesting. The concept of school doesn’t line up with our needs, or more so, our wants. So then we turn to our cell phones to fill our boredom with entertainment and we get a dopamine hit.

According to studies cited on healthline.com, “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain. Basically, it acts as a chemical messenger between neurons. Dopamine … contributes to feelings of alertness, focus, motivation, and happiness.”

Dopamine is the hormone produced by the brain when people use their cell phones, making us teens want more and more of it because it makes us feel happy, or focused, and maybe even sometimes motivated.

Dopamine is also the same hormone produced when people use hard drugs.

Adults might mention to you that phones are like drugs. Are they right? 

When you look at the effects of dopamine, it produces the same effect that any hardcore drug like cocaine would give. According to healthline.com, Certain drugs may interact with dopamine in a way that becomes habit-forming. As a habit forms, the brain responds by toning down the dopamine. Now you need more of the substance to get to that same pleasure level.”

People build habits on drugs; we teenagers build habits on cell phones.

Although phones could be used as a tool, such as to call or text someone when you need something, they are used more for unimportant stuff like social media. 

In a March 23 article in The Santa Fe New Mexican, teen writer Hanbi Park claims, We’ve become captive to apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok and the companies behind them, and it could be hurting young people more than we imagine.”  

Most, if not all, teenagers use cell phones for social media, which is understandable. Kids love the idea of “trends” or a new beverage to try at Starbucks. But how are these phones causing us to react to a situation? 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, “Recent research shows that adolescents who spend more than three hours per day on social media face double the risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

On social media we tend to compare ourselves with others, such as models, or how people live their lives. Therefore, since we see it constantly, we also want to be part of that lifestyle. So, we turn to solutions like looking up “how to make money for free” or “how to lose 10 pounds overnight.” Although we may find “solutions,” none of them actually work – you can’t lose 10 pounds overnight, and you can’t make money for free without a job (or without getting a computer virus). 

Social media tends to make us feel bad about the lives we have. Most of the time when we can’t have that “clean girl” or “gym rat” life, we turn to more and more social media.

Of course some social media can be reliable or interesting, such as news or the weather, or even to figure out what’s going on across the world. But as we know, more times than not, ultimately it makes us feel bad about the lives we already have.

I’m not going to act like I don’t turn to social media, because I do, more times than not. I do get stuck in the loop of it all, just like most teens. I do think to myself about getting off my phone, about the effects of it, and what an impact it has on my life. 

All it takes is work and consistency. For example, I made an alarm on my phone to get off at a certain time, and at school I completely turned my internet off. And it does work – sometimes. 

Distractions are going to happen. That’s just the world we live in, and ultimately there is no solution. But we can try to live a better life. We can try to have a fulfilling life outside of social media.

All of these things seem scary after looking at it this way, until you realize that you are alive; you’re living in this exact moment, you’re breathing air out of your lungs and pumping blood through your veins. So why not live? Why not take advantage of that and use your life to its full potential? Why not make a life outside of social media? What’s holding you back? We have the choice to look up from our phones or keep our heads down.

We get opportunities every day. There’s time every day. Time is the thing we have the most of, but use well the least. So, why not use it – the right way? 

Nobody has a life that is perfect. And we can’t try to have a perfect life because all it will do is make things less and less perfect. 

But we can take steps to try to better our lives. And it starts here. 

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