Students become lazier as technology advances

Generation Z is very unique, as it’s the first generation that’s grown up with always having access to technology. Almost every kid receives a smart phone by the time they’re in middle school and are used to having everything they want at their fingertips by the time they’re in high school. Although technology has made life easier, it has not helped with improving kids’ work ethic.
Not too long ago, when technology was just becoming a new thing, kids were forced to use their brains more to accomplish homework assignments and entertain themselves. They did not have the internet to answer all of their questions or social media to help pass time, but actually went outside and interacted with their friends face to face. The only phones that existed were used to simply just call, so they had to work much harder to do what seems so simple now. For example, if someone wanted to know about something going on in the news or the score of a sports game that they missed, they would have to either wait until it was on the TV channel news later that day, or walk to the nearest library or store that had newspapers. They couldn’t just type a few words and find out the answer in minutes. Textbooks were actually used to study and learn from, because there was no magical device that answered all questions instantly. Without the internet, more kids worked hard for what they wanted, because they had to. There was no other way around it.
Now, technology has taken control over many young people’s lives. In school, almost every class has a Google Classroom or some online component that is used almost every day. If someone doesn’t know the answer to a question or needs a refresher on how to do something for an assignment, they can instantly look up a tutorial video or website that explains exactly how to do something. Then outside of school, many students spend hours a day on social media or watching videos and shows on Youtube or another streaming service. This excessive use of technology has made it easier for kids to spend their days sitting and being entertained by simply staring at a screen.
I have seen this personally through my younger brother, as well as underclassmen in my extracurriculars. It seems like a majority of Gen Z is content with putting in the bare minimum into anything, so that they have more time to just sit on the Xbox or on their phone. I have noticed this as many people are like my brother, who complete school work as quickly as possible, don’t get overly involved in any extracurricular, and have an average screen time report on their phones of at least 5 hours a day. As more younger people become like this, it’s not only hurting themselves but also those around them. It’s causing elective classes like Journalism and Yearbook to risk getting cut or actually be cut, due to not enough students wanting to put in the effort to keep something going. Then if it does make it with a small number of people, it’s causing the ones who do want to put the effort in to be overworked and make it not as fun for them to be a part of. Clubs are struggling to get people to run for office positions, because so many people think it’s “too hard” or too much of a time commitment. Even sports are declining in numbers, as they struggle to make multiple teams for freshmen through seniors.
The thing that I always find extremely ironic is how people think being an officer of a club or signing up for an elective class that requires some outside of class work takes up too much time, but then they are like my brother, who comes home after school and just sits in front of the TV for hours. My brother has so much time in his life that he could be so much more productive and helpful, but he chooses to commit his time to laziness, rather than something more beneficial. These people have so much time on their hands, but they are unwilling to even give it up once a month for an officer meeting or extra “homework” that takes at most 30 minutes of their precious electronics time.
Even though I see this more often as I am around other’s near my brother’s age, I want to make it clear that this isn’t everyone in the younger generations. There are ways to avoid becoming content with spending your days on smartphones and computers. Whether it’s in school, sports, music, or whatever else kids spend their time doing, they should learn to invest more time into those activities and less time sitting and scrolling. There are many things you can do to detox from excessive technology use. A good way to limit your screen time is setting limits for yourself, which is possible in settings on most smartphones. You could also simply set a timer when you start playing a video game or watching TikToks and make sure you stop once the timer goes off. Then, you’ll have at least a few hours to spend doing something much more productive, such as after school activities or putting more effort into assignments.
Just like any addiction, it’s very hard to quit completely. It’s understandable to use technology a lot during your day, but it’s not good when it becomes your entire life. I highly recommend everyone to pay attention to how much time they spend on social media and video games, and look for other ways to use your time more wisely. Something important to remember is the virtual world of social media and videos will almost always be there; you can wait to scroll through people’s posts and videos. However, the things going on in the real world are things you cannot replay. You should take full advantage of everything the real world has to offer right now, especially while you’re in high school. Some of these opportunities you will never get again once you graduate.