Technology intrusion blurs lines between school, home


Students still feel the affects of virtual learning today.

Alisa Kharod

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been on their computers and phones much more frequently and for longer periods of time. According to the New York Times, “scientists say that children’s brains, well through adolescence, are considered ‘plastic,’ meaning they can adapt and shift to changing circumstances. But, it becomes harder the longer they immerse in rapid fire digital stimulation.”

Students are constantly getting notifications on their phones, whether it be social media, texts, and students are using Google Classroom more than ever. Even after in-person school started again, the effects of remote learning, such as the collapse of the boundary between school and home have remained.

Nevertheless, though online learning may have harmed some students, there have also been positive aspects.

“I had a fraction of the normal day-to-day school worries,” said junior Amanda Riordan of Manasquan. “No packing lunches, no packing my backpack, no picking out outfits, no hair, no makeup, only rolling out of bed and simply logging into class.”

There was less social pressure to look a certain way every day, a relief for many students. Despite this break from certain stresses, the mental pressure on students rose a substantial amount.

The Chicago Tribune reports, “according to a recent nationwide study on teacher and student wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic, 46 percent of teachers reported encountering student mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, academic stress, trauma, and grief more often than they did before the pandemic.”

For nearly a year, the typical daily routine for students was waking up and joining a zoom call, many of which featured a group of icons rather than faces.

This type of learning impeded the interactions between students, but also interpersonal communication between students and teachers.

“My screen time went up drastically and I often stayed up late, taking a massive hit on my sleep schedule,” said Santamaria. “When school got back into in-person learning, I struggled with staying awake and I still do today.”

Santamaria continued that the switch to virtual school not only caused an issue with her sleep schedule, but also altered the effort she put into her classwork.

“It definitely affected the amount of effort I put into school and that still affects me today,” Santamaria said.

The notifications don’t help either. When talking to friends, or just enjoying your time alone, the buzz of a Google Classroom notification alerting that an assignmnet is due at 11:59 p.m. is a very real, lasting consequence of at home learning.

Overall, Google Classroom helps us immensely, but intrusiveness is something that we may have to learn to live with, especially as the boundary line that separates school and work continues to weaken.