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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Let’s break free from our constricted lives

Graphic credit: Yoni Soloveychik, Photo credit: Hugh Han/Unsplash
How an average day on the train looks.

Imagine if an Ancient Roman or Greek was transported to the present day. Obviously, they would be stunned. Yet, after getting used to our life, what would probably shock them most of all is not our cars, our refrigerators, or our airplanes. It would be the internet, and how much it has consumed the lives of each and every American.

So much of life now is revolutionized by the web. Of course, for some things, this is amazing. Modern medicine or online education are improving the world day by day. Internet access has helped the poorest parts of the world gain knowledge, stop problems like hunger and poverty, etc. It has saved countless lives doing so.

This is not the side of the internet that I am talking about, however. Americans now spend an average of just over 4.5 on their phones per day. That number goes up to between 7.5 and 9 for teens. And, as explains social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, this is directly related to increased rates of depression and suicide.

Now, don’t get me wrong—my phone is great. When I’m bored, tired, or in an awkward situation, it is the perfect thing to go to. But, think about it in perspective. Ironically, what inspired me for this was not a book or walk in the park, but actually a video online whose audio sort of struck me.

The audio says, simply: the average life expectancy is 78 years old. Around 26 of those years will be spent sleeping; 6 in the classroom, and even more if you go to college; 15 years spent working; 9 years watching TV & playing video games; 3 years eating & drinking; 2 years doing chores; 2 years spent driving. This leaves around 14 years of free time left, with us deciding how to spend it.

It concludes with this: the average person today spends almost 7 hours a day on their phone. This equates to almost 9 total years in total, leaving them with 5 years of untouched time to truly live.

Take that in, just understand that for a second. Five years out of 78 for us to control. And listen, I get that the data may not be 100% accurate and you may live to 79 instead of 78 and so forth, but just think about the idea, think about the general concept.

A lot of life we can’t control. Disease, war, politics, education, the need to eat and sleep—all things mostly beyond our jurisdiction. But are we really willing to give up 73 years of our life to unmanageable crap, give away our one shot at this world, all except for a mere 5 years?

If anything, our phones and the internet overall are something that both harm us and something that we can control. It may be hard, but then again, nothing positive ever comes easily. To quote the video I was talking about earlier, time is the only currency we spend without thinking. Spend it wisely. You only live once.

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About the Contributor
Yoni Soloveychik
Yoni Soloveychik, Asst. People Editor
Yoni Soloveychik is a sophomore at Niles North. This is his second year writing for NSN and he likes a lot of different things.

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