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The Dragon Post

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Tech and the Teenage Brain

How is the teenage brain special and why is it so deeply affected by technology? Students Respond.
Tech and the Teenage Brain


 Students explored a series of articles on how technology has infiltrated our daily lives and how it can affect not only our thoughts, perspectives, and actions but also the actual physiological development of young brains. Here is what students are saying.


 The Ted Talk, “Insight into the Teenage Brain” helped me understand how the teen brain develops, it explained that the teenage brain is still evolving. What stuck out to me was that our brains reset every day – so does that mean if we use our phones constantly they are also affecting our brains?  The Ted Talk was really eye-opening and helped me understand more about how the brain is affected by technology.

We also read an article called “Can’t Put Down the Phone? How Smartphones are Changing our Brains and our Lives” which showed me a lot more about how technology is damaging our minds. They talk about negative effects like not being able to read emotion, lack of conversational skills, and that it becomes hard to think deeply and many other things. I also think that after reading this, if we didn’t have phones or other electronic devices, kids and teenagers would be more focused in school, there would be fewer deaths due to distracted drivers, and people would have happier, healthier lives.

Overall I think that phones are useful when it comes to research, global communication, and having an escape when stuff happens at home or school, but there are also faults such as cyberbullying, contributing to a lack of human decency and its overall impact on your mind. In the end, phones have a huge impact on our brains and society.

-Emma White, Grade 9


After reading the article, “Into the Teenage Brain and hearing a Ted Talk by brain scientist and researcher Adriana Galvan, my perspective on cell phone use has shifted.  Young people’s brains can develop differently in so many ways depending on what they are exposed to. Brain development can vary depending on who you hang around and who you affiliate with. It is usually teens who use social media, which can affect them on a deep level because their brains are still developing.  Since their brains are still developing this makes them more sensitive as well as more emotional.

The adolescent brain does not stop being sensitive and emotional until they are in their twenties. So that means what you, as a young person, see and participate in on social media is affecting your brain deeply because your brain is still developing. The adolescent brain is being affected because the part of the brain that is causing the sensitivity is in the front of the brain, behind the cerebral cortex, and this is unfortunate because the human brain develops from the back to the front. An important part of the brain is underdeveloped causing young people to be emotional and sensitive and to take more risks. The sensitive part of the brain is called the striatum.

The brain is one of the most important and complex organs. It changes every day and without it, there wouldn’t be life. That’s why it’s important to keep developing in a healthy way to ensure a healthy brain or you will have problems.

-Zachary Hooley, Grade 10


Before reading the article “Can’t Put Down the Phone? How Smartphones are Changing Our Brains and Lives” by AJ Watt, I was already trying to stay away from my phone.  After learning even more about it, I am REALLY trying. I really want to have good grades and maintain them and it’s crazy to think that a phone can interfere with that. Research shows that too much phone time makes you forget more easily and therefore stops you from remembering the things you learn at school. Then that can lead you to failing grades.

The cellphone is a device that everyone is extremely attracted to. Almost 75% of U.S. citizens have them! I always suspected that cell phones could be pretty dangerous when used excessively and after reading the article and watching a Ted Talk about how the brain develops, my perspective on phone use has changed. I always knew phones could affect your brain but I didn’t know how much they could. 

Studies show that one of the things that excessive phone use can affect is human decency. Giving up helping strangers, smiling at them, or respecting their views because you had too much screen time is insane. Also when I learned that phones can make you disregard other things like opinions or hobbies, it hit me that this is a serious issue and that we NEED to learn how to limit ourselves. There was this guy who only used a flip phone and he said his life was happier and better; we should all learn from that guy. I’m not saying you should start using a flip phone but we should learn how to limit ourselves.

I know someone who is really attached to his iPad and he doesn’t have any other hobbies. He thinks everything is hard and boring. This article really made me think about this. Our brains are still undeveloped and in our teen years, we like to experiment, and try new things! I am afraid he won’t do that and will be stuck on his phone. 

Now that I think of it, the happiest I was, was when I was away from the phone. When there was a blackout, it was so much fun! Whenever I go out I feel happy. I’m just realizing now how much happier I am without the phone, I feel like we should all learn to balance our screen time, it could lead to such a happier life.

-Daniesha Leigh Quiamas, Grade 9


After reading this article and hearing the Ted Talk my perspective on cell phone use has changed because our brains are constantly changing every day, as of right now. I think it’s worth it to listen and pay attention because as it said, you stop developing mid 20’s. The brain is very responsive to our environment. Our brain gets excited about rewards, which could be anything like winning a contest or something that makes you happy. Such as emotions and new experiences, like playing video games and something new is updated. What I think that’s really important is the part it says, our brain stops developing mid 20’s. It makes me wanna actually start taking school seriously. After learning about this topic my perspective on the use of technology has evolved because sometimes phones can still save our lives. Sometimes kids text their parents about them not being comfortable in school, because of how other kids treat them. People need phones; phones help kids who are out of their comfort stage. It’s just that kids need them sometimes. However, without phones, kids don’t get distracted, but also phones can save kids’ lives. 

Kamakana Kahawai, Grade 10

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  • A

    Aria SmithDec 11, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    Personally I try my best to make sure all of my things are done before getting on my screens or making sure I will get everything done in a timely manner because once you’re on the phone, it’s hard to get off! I’ve recently tried to get back into hobbies that I perused more frequently before really getting attached to my phone. As of right now I only have one game on my phone, if I had more I would for sure be on my phone more. My advice is to find other things that make you happy, and better yet find things you can do with other people. After all we are social creatures.

  • K

    kalanSep 25, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    I think that Emma’s article about the Ted Talk and an article we read in class was very inspiring because of the way she interpreted them, it helped me understand more of these articles of how she worded her meaning and overall good.