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Lindsey Christopher is a senior at Palatine High School. This is her first year on PHS Cutlass as an editor. Along with being involved in journalism, Christopher is also an athlete, having done cheer for...

We aren’t ‘screenagers’

Everything is just digital now
The+typical+teenagers+spends+4.8+hours+a+day+on+their+phone.
Madelyn Lebo
The typical teenagers spends 4.8 hours a day on their phone.

As I looked up from checking my phone, I heard my grandma say exactly, “You kids and your telephones!” Granted, as she was saying that, my neck was still just a bit sore from my curved posture I had while checking the message. I wasn’t even in eye contact with her and I was quickly being ridiculed in good fun. What can I say? I’m a screenager.

More and more teenagers are spending most hours of the day on their phones, tablets, or computers. My daily average on my phone is seven hours. 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, screenager is defined as “a person in their teens or early twenties who has an aptitude for computers and spends a lot of time on the internet.”

The key term is Internet. So when a teenager is regarded as a “screenager,” it’s because they are, by definition, spending an absurd amount of time on the internet. 

But there is a vast difference between the internet and what people think is the internet; which is social media. The lines between the two get blurred and it can be assumed that screenagers are solely on social media all the time they are using their phones. Which is untrue. 

In this age, considered the technological revolution, everything is digital. In my experience, my grades, homework assignments, some tests, communication with family, friends, teachers, employers, colleges, and entertainment is all digital. So why am I called a “screenager” when that’s where all my information and resources are?

Some who disagree might say that it’s not the internet that makes me a screenager, it’s the immense use of social media over internet resources that makes me a screenager. 

According to Forbes, “The Gallup survey found over half (51%) of U.S. teens (13-19) spend a minimum of four hours daily on social media, at an average of 4.8 hours every day on social media.” 

But the statistics are that it’s not just teens that are on social media the most out of all age groups.

Senior Lindsey Christopher checks her phone for messages. (Carly Demovsky)

According to Data Reportal, “Social media use continues to grow too, with the total number of active social media user “identities” reaching 4.95 billion in October 2023.” 

This means that it’s not just teens on social media, and the number of people joining social media or the internet can’t just be credited to teenagers. In that case, isn’t everyone a screenager then?

I’m not asking to be regarded as a homesteader who builds fires and tends my own chickens, but I’m asking to have the consideration that I’m not a screenager, because everything I use for resources, life, school, etc are all in my pocket—on my phone of course. 

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About the Contributors
Lindsey Christopher, A&E Editor
Lindsey Christopher is a senior at Palatine High School. This is her first year on PHS Cutlass as an editor. Along with being involved in journalism, Christopher is also an athlete, having done cheer for the past 10 years. She is very passionate about her sport, as well as reading, exercise and wellness. Christopher has also been involved in tennis, freshman and sophomore class, and the principal advisory board. She is also a very independent person and always strives for perfection. In her free time, she enjoys baking sourdough bread, spending time with friends, and watching movies with her family. She hopes to attend NYU to study law.
Madelyn Lebo, Artist
Madelyn Lebo is a freshman at Palatine High School. She is involved in volleyball and softball and hopes to try track and field at some point. In school, she enjoys her art class with her friends, and biology. Outside of school, she has fun playing softball, volleyball, hanging out with her friends and drawing.

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