Let’s go Touch Some Grass


Mia Compas

Students in Journalism Class invested in their iPads during the last 5 minutes of class opposed to socializing with their peers. The iPads are taking over.

This morning I was stopped at a red light on Del Mar Heights road and I glanced over at the car next to me. It was a four person carpool. A senior was driving, their sibling was in the passenger seat, and two more friends were in the back. What I expected to see when I looked over was a normal school carpool, maybe a kid sleeping, someone jamming to the music, or even engaging in a before school chit-chat. But this is the complete opposite of what I saw.

Instead, my gaze was met with four screenagers fully entranced by their phones. Yes, even the driver was attentive to their Snapchat instead of the road. Even when the light turned green, it took the operator of the motor vehicle a good few seconds to realize that they should probably drive their car.

When I got to school. I was met with the senior prank. A tailgate in the parking lot. You would imagine that everyone would be fully involved in the social aspect of high school, laughing and bonding with their senior class. But I was again slightly disappointed. There were many Snapchat conversations opposed to real time ones. This story from human interaction is not uncommon. The screenagers are taking over.

Even the classrooms are plagued by technology. At the end of every class period. There is usually a ten minute gap between learning and the bell ringing. I don’t know if I’m crazy for wanting to talk to my peers. But I do indeed want to stir up conversations.

I would like to think that I am somewhat able to hold a conversation, but every time I try, my table mates are always deterred by their iPads or phones. It’s really sad honestly. We come to school to learn, but also to socialize and make connections. But instead, people come to school to sit at their desks and scroll on the gram.

In America, the average screen time for 13 to 18 year olds is more than six hours per day. What are we doing? We need to go outside and touch some grass. Many people in our grade concur that “they spend way too much time on Tik Tok” and that they “end up scrolling their life away”.

This addiction to our phones is ridiculous. It’s so important to remember the important ancient pillars of our society- that coincidentally involve nothing with our phones. The vital priorities that encourage us to invest time with family, friends, and nature. We all need to spend more time outside. Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. Instead of spending our days on Snapchat, we should start doing things that matter.

Spending time in nature can also act as a balm for our busy brains.

Spending time in nature is also linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health and emotional well-being. From personal experience, I can attest this increased positivity. After spending just a mere 10 minutes frolicking in the fields behind my house, my IQ increases by about 10 percent. I don’t have any concrete proof of these added smarty-points. But, I just know that taking a walk makes me feel SO MUCH better. Regarding these mental health benefits I keep going on about, nature has a very wide definition. It can mean green spaces like parks, woodland or forests and blue spaces like rivers, wetlands, beaches or canals. It also includes trees on an urban street, private gardens, verges and even indoor plants or window boxes. Surprisingly, even watching nature documentaries is good for our mental health. This is great news as it means the mental health benefits of nature can be made available to nearly every one of us, no matter where we live.

So, let’s all touch some grass. Let’s get outside. And let’s do things that matter.