Increased Screen Time During the Pandemic

Vivian Karamitros
UNC-Chapel Hill Student

As students in the 21st century, we don’t know a world where we advance our education without technology. For most of us, we learned keyboarding in middle school, created powerpoints all throughout high school, and have our laptops propped open during college lectures. Technology is a part of our daily lives, but now it seems as if the pandemic has enclosed us in our homes and made it difficult to go a day without constantly staring at your laptop and phone.
For a student like me, that has become my reality. In-person classes gave me the option of looking at my laptop screen while the professor lectured or staring at the chalkboard behind him/her writing out mathematical equations. My eyes weren’t strained trying to learn. Now, it seems that Zoom sessions for my economics lectures and countless hours trying to learn the material on my laptop change the situation. I’m accustomed to spending a few hours a day on my laptop cranking out papers, submitting my MyMathLab homework, and sending countless emails and LinkedIn requests to make sure I network as much as I can.
I’ve become concerned with my increased screen time during these past two months of quarantine, and so have optometrists. Students this past semester who have attended colleges and universities have to worry about the shock that comes with different learning environments and with that comes constant eye strain. From my personal experience, I spent about 5-6 hours on my laptop and phone for educational purposes. Now, I recorded about 10-11 hours staring at my laptop screen trying to complete homework and studying for exams. Printing out isn’t an option since textbooks aren’t exactly known for a low page count.
Compromising my eye health during this quarantine is not an effect I’ve wanted to experience, but it’s inevitable for me as a college student.


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