Dear Oakland Teenager,

Did you know Screen Time can be unhealthy? The reason us as upstanders are writing this is because we have noticed that many people don’t believe it can affect your health. 

Based on our research, Screen Time can create unhealthy damage to the brain which is where it affects our body physically and mentally.

Firstly, Technology Usage is a huge problem since a Multitude of us use it. A lot of people have to use technology for work or school, some screen time doesn’t affect your health much but when someone starts using it for about 7 hours or more it usually starts to prematurely thin the brain cortex (Radcliffe). This has a huge effect on children since they’re still young. The function of the brain cortex is one’s smell, eye sight, hearing, sensation, etc. This is a massive part of your health because without any of these functions your body will not be able to function properly. For example Carwell Urgent Care is a website that helps people with medical questions and needs stated, “Looking at a screen for extended periods of time can cause “computer vision syndrome.” The symptoms: strained, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Poor posture when using screens combined with can cause chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain”(Carwell Urgent Care). Adding on, being on technology causes a huge heath warning because it can cause health problems that can affect your body which can also be a health problem later on in life.

Secondly, Technology can affect people’s mental health. Screen time can mentally affect people in all terrible ways that a lot of people don’t know about. For example in an article titles “Too Much Screen Time Linked to Anxiety & Depression in Young Children and Teens” by Rick Nauert published on pshychcentral it talked about the different ways it effects your mental health it shows, “ A new study suggests that greater screen time — whether in the form of computers, cell phones, or tablets — may have contributed to a spike in depression and suicide-related behaviors(pshychcentral). This talked about no matter what kind of screen teenagers spend your time on it will affect teenagers mentally with causing mental problems such as depression which can have a huge impact on people because it can cause people’s lives if it goes too far.

We can Predict that the rate of people being unhealthy will continue to go up. In a survey we designed with 20 questions that people in Oakland took, our goal was to get to know the knowledge of our community members. We asked people how much they spend on technology the average of people spent about 3-5 hours a day on technology. Which means they are affecting their health by doing so everyday.

Figure 2. Shows how much Age 13 through 49 spend using technology. I noticed that the older they are the less or More they spend on technology.

Most people believed it was a 4 that screen time can be unhealthy but not many people choose a 5 which means they were not 100% sure it was unhealthy.

Figure 3. This shows the different ratings of the different ages that disagreed or agreed that Screen time can be unhealthy. This shows that all together most people believed it was in the middle.

Based on the data collected from the community we can infer that our community needs s better stand on using less technology for the better and knowing what they are doing to their health in their everyday life.

Aim#1 : Educating the community about health.

This will be accomplished by educating our community by daily posting on our social media and educating them on the importance of staying healthy. This will be just one daily post a day so we can have a better communication with our community. If this plan doesn’t follow through we will start talking to our fellow community members one on one to better understand their concerns and to talk to them in person.Since they aren’t stopping to use it this would give them a reminder to pause when they use their screen.

Aim#2: Providing ways to stay active or having hobbies.

This will be accomplished by also providing information for people that can help them do other hobbies other than staying inside and on their technology for a long time. This can also be included as some activities people can do after work, weekends and anytime they get bored. They will get this information by going to social media a seeing our daily post on how to stay active .The hobbies we would add are arts and crafts, different sports, some fun places to visit, etc.

Aim#3:( if there was no limit) providing a rule.

This rule would be for parents to provide that there would be a limit that children would be on technology. This would mean that if kids have school projects or homework to do online and need an extension for hours they would and this would also be for adults. But if they don’t have any work to do they would be doing some activity that is away from technology that keeps them active. And not affecting their mental and physical health. This would be political organizing from the president because since this is a community problem and which is also happening in other communities as well. The law would be that they would get an alarm once they use it for 3+ hours and pause whatever they are doing.

We plan to measure success when there are fewer people indoors and more people outdoors seeing people out and doing actual activities. We will know we are successful if we take the survey again and see people have answers that say they know that screen time can be unhealthy. 

Thank you everyone who is reading this and informing themselves for better health and informing themselves how Screen Time can be unhealthy mentally and physically. Now that you know more about screen time how will this make you change?#Screentime


 Work cited 

CareWell Urgent Care. “The Effects Too Much Screen Time Has on Your Health.” CareWell Urgent Care, 19 July 2018,

Nauert, Rick. “Too Much Screen Time Linked to Anxiety & Depression in Young Children and Teens.” Psych Central, 12 Nov. 2018,

Radcliffe, Shawn. “Healthline .” Healthline, 18 Dec. 2018,

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Candace Ko
Candace Ko
May 16, 2020 6:56 am

Hi Amy,
I really think your article is an important work to be read by everyone, especially during these times of online learning. Although we must work from screens, it is important to know your limits and how to properly take care of oneself. Screen time does not affect our bodies in the same ways as other medical issues may, but it affects us in ways that some people may overlook. I liked your graph depicting a survey of people who believe/do not believe whether screen time is unhealthy or not. It connects your data with the real world, allowing the opportunity for people to reevaluate their thoughts on the issue. I agree with your first aim about educating the community. The first step in anything is addressing the issue, and you have laid out a great pathway in doing so. Your second aim is a great idea for alternatives for excess screen time. What are your hobbies that you enjoy? Your article was very informative and i applaud you for choosing such a relevant topic to our current situation. Keep it up!

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