Technology has closed the door on playing outside


By Alyssa Cristobal and Lara Del Vecchio

It seems having the world in the palm of your hand has given people reason to never step outside their doors. As iPhones update and Netflix adds new seasons, people are more inclined to board up their windows and watch movies alone than play a friendly game of basketball with some buddies.

“I get so caught up online that sometimes hours go by without me noticing,” sophomore Rachel Quinn said. “When I just put my phone down, I get so much more done and feel better about myself too.”

Generation Z was born directly in the age of technology and laziness. They had no other choice but to grow up with these smart devices and allow them to take up all aspects of their everyday life.

Even West Essex has entirely transformed their curriculum digitally, encouraging students to have an online learning experience and spend even more time in front of the screen.

Kids are so used to their devices that nature is turning into a foreign concept. Today’s kids stare at their screens all day and don’t take a moment to look up and appreciate the world in front of them.

“Inside I can play video games for hours with my friends but when I’m outside I have to put in effort and

I get bored quickly,” sophomore Christian Hiel said. “You don’t get sweaty when you play video games.”
While many parents tell their kids they need more fresh air, that statement has never been more true for Generation Z. According to a study conducted by Common Sense Media, teenagers between the ages of 8 and 12 spend on average of 12 hours a day in front of screens. Students prefer to explore the digitized green fields of Fortnite rather than the beautiful open space of the Fairfield park.

“I can’t even remember the last time I chose to be outside rather than play video games,” sophomore Alex Maxwell said.

“My friends and I used to go to the turf all the time,” freshman Ryan Cristobal said. “Now all we do is play Fortnite.”

Getting off of social media and video games is extremely important both physically and mentally. Technology has become an addiction, which takes time away from other essential things such as face to face communication, school work and physical activity. Gaming, scrolling and typing have taken over and forced this generation into forgetting the one of a kind sensation of being outside.