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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

Nowhere to Hide: Social Media has us Surrounded

A student contemplating the effects on technology on everyone lives. (Maria Tirado)

The word muse means to be absorbed in thought, and the prefix a is used to negate something. Consider the word amusement. Quite literally, amusement means to not think. In today’s constantly entertained society, this is clearly not the context we use this word in, but exploring the origins of the expression gives startling insight into what’s actually happening when we seek amusement, specifically from social media. 

How often do you find yourself viewing a split screen video and listening to an informational podcast or story while staring at an endless loop of satisfying slimes or rapid race cars? Technology has shortened our attention spans and our ability to focus. In 2000, our average attention span was around 12 seconds, but it is now down to 8.25 seconds, which is actually one second less than that of a goldfish (Hollander). 

The swirling sounds and colors from a maze of fast paced videos and endless idealistic posts cloud our brains and consume our thoughts. Where there used to be silence, there are now dings and beeps protruding from our own pockets. Rather than filling our minds with our own beliefs, we pack them full of the opinions of influencers and celebrities. In this digital world, people are held captive to their phones, and they are left with little time to spend observing their own minds.

When was the last time you actually sat somewhere and were just quiet? Not scrolling to consume media, not listening to music, or not chatting with friends. Genuine silence and solitude has become rare in society, and yet people wonder why they’re stressed when they haven’t had a pause in weeks. Denmark senior Nathan Smith believes that “phones are kind of necessary in today’s society but also have many detrimental aspects.” The revolutionary invention of the cell phone has had many benefits such as increased access to information and communication, but it has also stolen mini moments of time such as breaks in class, time spent driving to school, or even eating meals. 

“I’ll catch myself repeatedly checking my phone even if there’s nothing to check.”

When given the option between a quick moment of silence and picking up a phone to find amusement, most would turn to social media for instant relief. Smith comments that “phones at this point are just a go to for any sort of down time for everyone.” Social media sucks in users and provides quick hits of dopamine, but the apparent entertainment is misleading. The harsh reality is that platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are designed to be addictive. Smith admits that “I’ll catch myself repeatedly checking my phone even if there’s nothing to check.” Socials that seem to bring fun and connectivity instead deplete daily lives of time to reflect by clogging minds with media and notifications.

Are there any actual benefits to having these seemingly small moments? According to both science and student opinion, there are. Silence leaves room for reflection and rest, and it can kick start the journey to emotional growth and better mental health. Janelle Cox from PsychCentral shares that “Being mindful allows you to settle into your mind and body and sit with the present moment.” In modern society’s fast paced world, “it is really important to slow down and have those moments of silence to connect and check in with yourself,” Smith agrees. This practice sets the stage for becoming someone who can accept their own thoughts without judgment. 

Another apple product that will only serve to immerse people into technology even more, losing themself along the way. (Maria Tirado)

Along with these personal benefits, quietness can also boost concentration and allow the brain to process information. In a world where distracting noise is around every corner, there is an evident need to create quiet spaces to focus the mind. Smith shares that reflecting “has helped me think through and process different emotions and problems.” He also explains that this technique “has been very helpful when trying to make an important decision too, just making sure my thoughts are collected and I’m not rushing into something.” It can be easy to get caught up in the noise, but having intentional pauses dedicated to concentration gives the brain time to process and prepare for new situations that may be faced throughout the day.

Perhaps the most powerful influence of silence is its ability to relieve stress. Cox notes that “silence may help decrease stress levels by lowering cortisol adrenaline levels.” A study conducted in the early 2000s determined that being silent for just two minutes can actually reduce more stress than listening to calming music (Bernardi, L, et al). Teenagers in particular are anxiety ridden from all the pressures placed on them, but stopping to smell the metaphorical roses can provide some relief. Anxiety is a real disorder, and those suffering from prolonged anxiety can benefit from treatment, but those with general stress stand to profit from daily moments of silence.

Technology is causing us to miss out on countless exceptional benefits, but most people have no clue what their lives are lacking. Many of us are constantly moving a mile a minute, and this fast paced lifestyle gives a sense of productivity, but it leaves little time for processing. If people made a conscious effort to disconnect from the digital world, we would see a generation of more mindful, focused, and peaceful individuals.


Bernardi, L, et al. “Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular, and Respiratory Changes Induced by Different Types of Music in Musicians and Non-Musicians: The Importance of Silence.” Heart (British Cardiac Society), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2006, 

Cox, Janelle. “7 Benefits of Silence.” Psych Central, Psych Central, 29 Apr. 2022, 

Hollander, Alan. “Average Human Attention Span by Age: 60 Statistics.” At-Home ABA Therapy, BridgeCare ABA, 8 June 2023,,shorter%20attention%20spans%20than%20goldfish. 

View Comments (8)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Katie O’Neal
Life is a journey, and high school is the smelly gas station stop along the way. At this current stop, I fill my time with more books than you can count, playlists as long as school days, and ideas that I might one day turn into novels. I’m excited to add crafting articles to my list this year, and my dream is that they will inspire others to make the most of whatever spot they’re at.
Maria Tirado
Maria Tirado, Staff
I’ve always hated math but since I moved to the US my life took a 180 degree turn for the better. Being born and raised in Colombia is something I’m very proud of and I still keep in touch with my roots and culture. Before the sun rises I’m here at school helping the athletic trainers which is what gets my day going. Later in the afternoon I then go to basketball practice while I spend time with my favorite people. In my free time I go to the practice field with my friends to play flag football or I end up going to work.

Comments (8)

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  • K

    Katelyn MillsMay 13, 2024 at 11:50 am

    The added comments are very creative and add a more engaging touch to the photo.

  • R

    Radhika KulkarniMay 13, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I really liked the first photo. Matching the color of the phone screen and buttons was a cool touch 😀

  • A

    Amy AcostaMay 13, 2024 at 11:33 am

    I love the added comments and likes on the photo, its very creative and the color adds more life.

  • A

    AlyssaApr 23, 2024 at 11:13 am

    This was written so well and was so eye-opening! Amazing article!

  • C

    camila delgadoApr 23, 2024 at 11:09 am

    I love in the second paragraph how you used your rhetorical questions to help the reader understand how deep this topic can actually be and the impacts of it.

  • A

    Anya SinghalApr 22, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    I love how you explained everything and how you really go into the impacts of social media shapes society. This article is sadly very relatable and makes me realize things I do that I would never think were bad before.

  • T

    Tanvi PullabhotlaApr 22, 2024 at 12:03 pm

    The first paragraph’s hook is super well-written, but it is actually a myth that we have an attention span less than that of a goldfish.

  • R

    Rithya BApr 22, 2024 at 11:11 am

    This article is very eye opening to the impacts and how social media is shaping our society.