Unplug from stressful mobile phones

It appears that we cannot live without our phones. Games, videos and social media sites have occupied our lives.

The time we used to spend on activities such as reading books, going to the park or playing sports with our friends have been taken away by our phones.

Teens have defended the use of phones, saying browsing social media sites or playing games is a form of "relaxation".

I think this is not true.

Instead of helping us relax, most mobile games stress us out; the heat of expectation from social media places an incessant pressure on us; and most videos fill our heads with content that would be forgotten the next day.

Rather than occupy our free time, phones consume it. They take away the time to reflect and grow.

Active and deliberate steps to disconnect should be taken.

I urge parents to persuade their children to disengage from their smartphones for a while and take the time to reflect and grow.

Tan Yi Kai, 15

Secondary 3 Student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2018, with the headline 'Unplug from stressful mobile phones'. Print Edition | Subscribe