The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Attention spans are getting shorter for students due to social media

Social+media+apps+such+as+Instagram+can+have+a+negative+affect+on+students+attention+spans.+Photo+credit+to+Sara+Kurfe%C3%9F+on+Unsplash%2C+Creative+Commons
Social media apps such as Instagram can have a negative affect on students’ attention spans. Photo credit to Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash, Creative Commons

Students are becoming increasingly more distracted in and out of school due to a multitude of reasons: their attention spans are on the decline and focus levels are reaching a low.

Distractions can lead to less focus and when introduced to new and unfamiliar subjects students may resort back to what brings them peace of mind. “I feel safe with my routine and in the things I enjoy, sometimes school can get in the way of that and it makes it feel harder to accomplish,” said senior Alex VanUtrecht.

There are distractions everywhere students look and one of the biggest is social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram which can provide people with a quick spike of dopamine and can create a behavior of endless scrolling. This dopamine while scrolling makes us crave short spikes of dopamine more and more; therefore attention spans will be limited to a shorter period of time.

Short videos and conversations that grab attention are taking over our lives while long activities and spending time with friends and family are on the decline. Many teens can not go long without checking their phone and seeing the newest information provided through it.

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“Sometimes I find myself spending more time on my phone than anything else. I will play video games instead of studying, scroll on my phone while in the gym or constantly check Snapchat throughout the day,” said VanUtrecht.

Cellphones constantly fight for people’s attention, and the more they give in to these temptations, the worse that the issues related to attention span become. Students can lose focus easier, be more tempted to rely on phones and have trouble when trying to complete a long task.

For students, focusing on studying and completing assignments can be harder than the actual contents in their classes. Procrastination becomes even more prevalent and late assignments are stacking up for students due to shorter attention spans.

“Sometimes my work feels endless and tiresome, I find scrolling easy and it is something I can always rely on, whenever I have free time I pull out my phone over everything else. It is a bad habit that I hope to try and eliminate,” said junior Riley Kramer. 

While many think that limiting time on devices may be the best solution, it is a hard addiction to drop. Many fail to do so because people feel as though it is a necessity in their lives. The satisfaction that can be felt from devices is high and makes them more addicting.

With all of the distractions around students, it is often hard for them to stay focused and can often lead to shorter attention spans in and out of school. However, solutions such as screen time restrictions set by parents and other measures to get teens away from their phones can be used to help solve this problem.

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About the Contributor
Alex Blunk, Classroom Manager
Alex Blunk is currently a senior at Pleasant Valley and serves as the Classroom Manager for the Spartan Shield. He enjoys his full schedule of classes and being able to spend time with his friends and classmates. He hopes to dual major in Architecture and finance at the University of Iowa State. He is a part of the Quad City Blues ice hockey team and spends many of his afternoons on the ice practicing with his team. Outside of school he enjoys spending time with his dog and creating memories with his friends and family. He loves music, movies, and fashion. Alex is looking forward to being a part of the journalism team and hopes to grow as a writer through the paper!  
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    Suleman ChaudhryFeb 4, 2024 at 10:42 pm

    Alex, I agree that attention spans have decreased as a result of many of these social media apps. I also agree they constantly fight for attention. One of the big things that comes to mind is the “mindless scrolling”, something alot of us have dealt with. I do agree as well setting restrictions on teens phones will force them to be mindful of their use.

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    Alex BerteJan 26, 2024 at 10:04 am

    Wow! I cant believe people arn’t able to limit themselves on Tiktok, such an unhealthy habit! pure Blasphemy!!!

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