The Student News Site of Carver Center



Is Gen Alpha Addicted to Technology?

A Look at Technology’s Impact on Gen Alpha
Is Gen Alpha Addicted to Technology?

Technology has become a monumental factor in human communication. Gaming, chatting with friends, and posting updates has become a daily habit for many. Especially in the members of the youngest generation, Generation Alpha (children 0 – 13 years old), has a role model in millennials and Generation Zers when it comes to navigating the  digital world. But is their usage detrimental?

When asked if Generation Alpha has a problem with their tech usage, teachers, counselors, and parents say yes. Tamika Mobley, 5th grade teacher of Holabird STEM Elementary said that in her classroom technology has been a distractor her students aren’t equipped with handling. Along with a large range of other factors technology commonly draws a student’s attention from a lesson. “The distraction of games, messages, and social media a foot away from them can be irresistible for some kids,” she says. This could have a larger impact in the classroom because as the years progress some schools are finding it hard to employ qualified teachers. “Some new teachers just can’t handle the stress and move to different careers. Teaching just gets harder and harder every year.”

Further, parent Chiqauana Truitt, agrees, saying there are, “…predators online that prey on the immature minds. For example, [kids] may give out personal information to a scam site.” When online without constant supervision parents might as well assume that they know nothing about what their children are consuming, because they don’t. Kids are tricky and tech savvy. They know how to navigate out of kid safe apps and get past some parental controls. Parents need to be vigilant for their own child’s safety” 

Studies show a correlation between kid’s screen time and social media use and mental health concerns. Yet, the average age to receive a first phone seems to be decreasing and the average screen time increasing. According to a study, in 2021 polled adults indicated that 43% of children aged 8 to 12 owned a cell phone, compared to in 2019 when 41% reportedly owned one. Additionally, 8 to 12 year-olds had an average screen time of about 5 hours and 16 minutes a day in 2019 and in 2021 they averaged about 6 hours and 11 minutes. This increase in access to new technology creates an especially harmful impact on kids, counselor, Carrie Schiavone, of Cromwell Valley Elementary says, “The internet has proven to be a difficult thing for students to navigate.” As an experienced  school counselor she’s seen multiple generations through elementary school and has noticed differences between generations. Schiavone says, “I have noticed an increased amount of internet conflict between students, from cyber-bullying to internet snubs.”

But, is there any hope for Generation Alpha? Mobley says yes, saying, “Setting firm and direct expectations with students in terms of digital usage, utilizing resources such as Go Guardian, and diligently monitoring student access can all effectively moderate inappropriate technology usage in the classroom.” Truitt agrees, saying that, “Waiting until an appropriate age to give unregulated technology access will help fix the issue. But, parents should still educate their kids on internet safety.” Technology is a tool and an addiction for many children. Its helpfulness depends on how it is used and how much.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Catalyst Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *