Survey shows wide usage of social media among junior high students at bedtimes

A recent Hi-Line survey of 10 percent of the students at Holmes Junior High found that 86 percent of all students are using social media within an hour of their bed time.

Students reacting to the survey said the data made sense. “I am not surprised because we are a technology nation,” said Krisha Keeran, a ninth grader.

If anyone was surprised, it was usually because he or she thought the findings were less than the overall number involved online. “I thought it would be 100 percent of students,” said Mack Eastman, a ninth grader.

In fact, when breaking the survey down by grades, social media was a must have for the ninth graders, as 100 percent said they used social media within an hour of bedtime. To some students, it is the expectation to be on technology with friends. “When I’m with my friends, we are always on our phones together,” said Laura Starbeck, a 9th grader.

The draw toward digital socializing leads some to sacrifice a good night’s rest. “Sometimes I get on social media before bed, and I stay on it longer than I should and end up losing sleep,” said Devin O’Loughlin, a 9th grader.

Another ninth grade girl agreed with the research that discusses how the the bright light affects sleep schedules. “The bright light of my phone makes it harder to fall asleep,” said Chloe Rohlf, a ninth grader.

But not everyone is enjoying the expectation to show up online. Ninth grader Devin O’Loughlin said that technology is more problematic during the school year. “Social media has became a burden since school started, and I don’t want all of the work of checking it,” O’Loughlin said. “I don’t want to have to spend time on my phone. I don’t like the feel of needing social media. Since I have gotten a phone, I have quickly become extremely reliant. I am always on my bed, on my phone.”

Most of the seventh grade girls said social media was a nightly routine, only one saying that she didn’t use social media. One ninth grader, Medha Patel, who has a sister in junior high, said she didn’t even have to think about it when considering her sister’s use of social media before bedtime. “Yes, she is always on right before bed,” Patel said.

Ninth grade boys’ results were also fairly predictable. Ninety percent said they use technology within an hour of their bedtime. “When I am about to go to sleep, I try to lay off technology, but every night I find myself on my phone for at least an hour. I’m sure this affects my sleep,” said Mack Eastman, a ninth grader.

The only deviation in the survey findings was for the seventh grade boys who broke the norm; only 40 percent of them said that they were on social media within an hour of their bedtime. Those who said they weren’t on social media also said that they hardly use social media or they don’t even have social media. “I don’t have any social media,” one seventh grade boy said. “That’s lame,” said another.

But things changed by the eighth grade, as all the boys reported they are fascinated with social media and use social media within an hour before their bedtime. One even admitted that technology helps him go to sleep. “Yes, I actually pass out using it,” said Owen Ausborn, an 8th grader.

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