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Internet Safety Week

Bill Fisher
Internet Safety Week
The Damaging Effects of Excessive Screen Time

This weeks’ theme of the week focused students’ attention on the detrimental effects of too much screen time.

The school’s e-learning leaders sent out a google questionnaire to our students, asking about their screen time. Over 300 responses were analysed and a few of the key results are presented in these pie charts.

As you can see, around 60% of our students are checking their phones or social media as the last thing they do at night. Many scientists and researchers believe that this interferes with sleep time, which is crucial to students’ learning ability and mental well-being. Click below to see the short video clip about this issue which students watched and studied (apologies it may begin with a short advert).

We even see from another pie chart that around 7% of our students are waking up in the night and checking their phone either nearly always or quite often, and a further 23% are doing this occasionally. This is more evidence of the detrimental effects of screen time on our students’ sleep patterns.

Our survey also revealed a small but worrying number of students are getting upset through their social media use. Indeed, there is a national rise of depression and mental health in young people and many link this to the detrimental effects of social media on those not resilient enough to cope. Click below to watch the short Sky News clip which students watched, reporting on this really serious issue.

One factor leading young social media users to depression is seeing the perfect representations of other people’s lives being posted up and then youngsters comparing these to their own lives which can seem less interesting. Every holiday the best ever, every party the greatest, every activity simple brilliant – but of course these representations aren’t the reality of other people’s lives. Students also watched this award-winning video in which a young woman presents to her social media followers a brilliant but totally pretend life.

Our e-learning leaders also discovered, as shown from the third pie chart, that around 30% of students are checking their social media which doing their home learning. Distraction seriously impedes learning and can render that home learning task much less useful: Click here to see another clip watched by students this week, showing how distractions interfere with the transfer of knowledge to long term memory.

In short, ‘if it’s getting you down, put it down’ and definitely put those screens away at least an hour before bedtime, turning phones complete off overnight. It’s a serious problem and one which we can do something about.
Thank you to the e-learning leaders this week for their important message. Here is a short clip of one of the e-learners (Kavya) speaking during the assembly.

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