When I was younger, I longed to get home from school, like any other kid, to go outside and be free; ride my bike around the block, connect with friends and let my imagination run free. Today´s adolescents come home to a black screen engulfing their surroundings, by providing a virtual world, causing them to become glued to the screen for hours on end. Video Games are becoming harmful towards the health of adolescents affecting their social, physical and psychological aspects of life.
Your childhood up to your teenage years are the years that you´ll never forget. It's a time to experience life, have fun, learn from your mistakes, and discover yourself as a person. This is something that those may lack if they are too busy being glued to a remote controller. The problem is that adolescents would rather live their life through a virtual world than to actually live their lives to the fullest. Video games are affecting the social aspects of life. So many kids spend every possible moment in front of a screen, whether it be from a phone, tv or computer, that it is now an obsession. This problem has gotten so bad that in 2009, an addiction recovery program called reStart was put into place. This program is for ages 13-30 which shows that this is a problem that has affected a large number of people of varying ages. This therapy program requires the patient to take a 45-90 day abstinence from electronics.
According to Dr. Greg West, a researcher and associate professor at Montreal University, brain scans have shown that once you have hit the 90 hour mark of playing video games, you start to lose the grey matter of the hippocampus. The less grey matter your hippocampus has, the increased risk you have of developing neuropsychiatric illnesses such as PTSD, depression, alzheimer and schizophrenia. If it were my brain, I wouldn’t want to have my life taken away because of video games. How far did this issue have to plummet that we have to tear away teens, young adults and adults from a computer screen?
It has been proven, through the studies conducted on young adults, that as the amount of time playing video games went up, the relationships between their peers and family decreased. In addition to relationships, videogames have also affected the response to different situations and outside stimuli. In a “Singapore study: Kids who play friendlier video games tend to have a sunny outlook”, evaluates the prosocial attitudes and behavior of children. Kids who spent more time playing friendlier and more strategic video games reported more prosocial behaviors. And when presented with the social scenarios, these kids were also less likely to attribute hostile intentions to other people. By contrast, kids who spent more time playing violent video games showed fewer prosocial traits and were more likely to attribute hostility to others.
With this evidence, it shows that video games aren't necessarily bad when they aren't violent. At the end of the day, it comes down to the parental control of what their children are playing and regulate time allocated to the gaming console. Researchers argue that videogames enrich the mind by increasing hand- eye coordination, reaction time, strategic out-of-the-box thinking and the mind's ability to process. They are referring to the video games without violence that scores players on how accurate they can shoot and what they can collect. These video games that are more of a benefit to your mind than a hindrance aren't as popular. Kids tend to gravitate towards the violent games that give an adrenaline rush.
Around 155 million people play video games at least three times a week, affecting the physical appearance of the gamer. Sitting down, your back hunched over with eyes strained isn’t exactly good for our health. Instead of playing video games, one could be spending time outside in the fresh air, doing some sort of physical activity and keeping in good shape or even catching up on sleep that will increase your physical and academic performance. Jerry Kennard PhD., who is a chartered psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society and an author, states that, “too much time on the video console can cause muscle pain, obesity, seizures, sleep deprivation, lack in motivation, aggressive behavior and a lack of vitamin D”.
Looking at how video games affect the social, physical and psychological aspects of a person, players have to know what they are getting themselves into by spending uninterrupted hours immersed in another virtual world. To help prevent obsession and minimal negative effects, players need to balance the time spent on the console and time spent with loved ones and getting physical activity. Parents must also be more educated on the effects that video games have on their developing child so that boundaries can be made. If they can’t be controlled when they are younger, who is going to be there for them when they can’t effectively socialize, control their emotions or struggle with physical movement. People must pay attention to the effects before it consumes you; holding you back from the real world and all the opportunities that come with it.
Contributing Writer: Taylor Steadman
Since 2014 and 2015, the Black Lives Matter movement has had a monumental place among many social and political issues. The movement brought about many debates leading to a group of people who did not agree with the hashtag and the creation of “All Lives Matter”. Sadly, people still don’t understand the importance of Black Lives Matter as a movement and why All Lives Matter deflects from the discrimination and injustice that is a constant issue for black people. The Black Lives Matter website describes where the beginning of the movement started. “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.” The hashtag started to blow up online and on the news in 2013 and 2014 and then #AllLivesMatter followed. The “All Lives Matter” ‘movement’ was created to debase the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the main issue is that most people feel like Black Lives Matter is a way to exclude everyone else from being recognized as an important person. As a young, black female who has lived in the U.S. her entire life, I am aware that the black community faces issues that occur undoubtedly on a regular basis. Black Lives Matter is not used to decrease the value of all other lives, it is basically a way of saying, black lives are in specific immediate danger and require immediate attention. There is no logic in stating the obvious by claiming all lives matter because that has always been an implied truth. Those who preach “All Lives Matter” in response suggest that all lives are in equal danger or face equally severe issues which invalidates the specific troubles that concern people who are black. Imagine that there is a a street full of houses and one of them is on fire. If the firemen showed up and started to water all the other houses first, people would ask, “Why won’t you put out the fire at that house first?” Imagine hearing the firefighter say, “Well, all houses matter and we should treat every house equally as if they all need the same kind of help at the same time.” This is the way of thinking that causes people to feel like they are not being truly heard. All Lives matter should cease to exist because there is no reason to combat or distract from a major issue in our society.
In an interview conducted by George Yancy-an author and philosopher- with Judith Butler who is a professor in the department of comparative literature -and the program of critical theory at UC Berkeley- Butler states, “When some people rejoin with “All Lives Matter” they misunderstand the problem, but not because their message is untrue. It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered, and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.”
If the Black Lives Matter movement is the way that people of color feel they can call for action and bring attention to their struggles, there should be no debate because everyone deserves to feel that their well being is considered important.
So what can people do to change for the better? The truth is that all change takes time and an issue this grand may take more time than imagined. For starters, people need to be more aware and educate themselves because knowing the cause of the movement can help people sympathize. There should be a distinct shift in the idea that it is morally correct to devalue the purpose of the Black Lives Matter Movement. There must be a decrease in the use of “All Lives Matter” because there is no reason to protest a positive protest.
Contributing Writer: Queen Ceruti
It is that time of year when seniors must start applying to colleges. Try expanding horizons and consider applying outside of California. It is commonly known that about 90% of applicants to UC schools are California residents. Try something new and apply in different locations through out the USA.
It is beneficial to apply to schools on the East Coat like New York City and take a tour of the New York University campus. NYU is a college unlike any other. It is spread throughout Manhattan in various buildings through out the city. With professors that are at the top of their field; receiving Emmys, Grammys, Abel Awards, etc. the students are ensured to learn from the best.
Although NYU is a relatively difficult school to get in to with an acceptance rate of 19%, there are plenty other options through the East Coast that offer great educations. From Villanova to Johns Hopkins, the opportunities are endless.
Choosing an East Coast school is not only a chance to experience seasons, but also is a chance to be even more in touch with history. Being among what was once the original Thirteen Colonies will help students learn even more about the nation and gives a great sense of pride to Americans. Choosing an East Coast school may create a unique college experience.
It is with this being said, that Estancia seniors should step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Whether applying to NYU or any other East Coast school, there are numerous opportunities for students to create a college experience unlike any other. During this application season, I urge all Estancia seniors to consider applying East Coast.
Reporter: Cosette Terriquez