Teens stressed by social media
By Sarah Durocher and Elizabeth Turnbull
Social media is a large part of most teenagers’ lives. Many high school students check their phones for messages in the hallways between classes or scroll through Instagram before class.
Researchers have been studying teen use of cell phones to see how social media affects stress and mental health, and the results are significant. A 2016 study at the University of Pittsburgh showed that teenagers who spend more time on social media had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns.
Psychologists theorize that social media creates a world where people can make their lives look as perfect as they want to. This causes people to compare themselves to others. Teens are especially susceptible because they are in the process of forming their identities.
Here at BEHS, teens seem aware of the stress their social media habits can create. John Johnson, a junior from Bonny Eagle High school, is alarmed by the consequences of cell phone dependence: “I think that it has made teens and adults alike more fragile and idiotic than we have ever seen in the history of the world," he says. "It is the greatest weapon ever constructed due to its power to control the mind of any human being who allows it to.”
A study done by CTIA, a lobbying group that represents America’s wireless industry, shows that 88 percent of children from ages 13 to 17 have or had access to a phone. The same study shows that 89 percent of teens have some form of social media account.
This is obvious at BEHS. Teens have their phones out whenever they can. Many enjoy talking to their friends or having their opinions heard. Studies have shown that teenagers go to social media to de-stress, but in the process make themselves more stressed for different reasons. Another 2016 University of Pittsburgh study showed that social media affects teens' ability to get a good night's sleep, which can lead to depression.
Bonny Eagle students say they have experienced the negative effects of social media. One BE freshman admits that social media has affected her sense of self and made her self-conscious about her appearance.
Every year, according to administrators, there are incidents of cyber-bullying that must be dealt with. Many students don't understand the emotional and mental harm that anonymous name-calling and shaming can do until it happens to them. Sometimes it is difficult to punish the bullies because it happens in a virtual world under the cover of the screen and can be deleted quickly or may disappear from platforms such as Snapchat.
Cyber-bullying often starts when someone posts something they almost instantly regret. According to CTIA, nearly half of teens have posted something on social media that they regretted later. Sixty percent of teens have social media accounts that are not private, increasing the stress in their lives when they post something they will regret later or type something they do not want other people to see.
A Bonny Eagle sophomore points out that even harmless social media creates social pressure because students are constantly checking to see if their posts were liked along with how many people are following them.
Overall, social media affects mental health and stress levels heavily, often not in a positive way. The best thing to prevent negative effects is monitoring what you post online and making sure what you say is something you will not regret later. Social media does not have to be a bad thing, but it will be if you make it that way.
Could you save someone's life?
BY Delia Havu and Julianna Czachor
Coaches have to be CPR and First Aid certified, but there are many other jobs that require CPR and First Aid training, some that you might not expect. Occupations include everything from child care provider to manager, secretary, electrician, construction worker, to flight attendant.
Mrs. Kirstin Said, who is a substitute teacher in the district says, “I think it’s great that people want to be certified because it gets more eyes out there.”
Mrs. Said is CPR and First Aid certified, and is a certified Basic EMT. She is also a lifeguard. She says the basic knowledge that goes along with being First Aid and CPR certified holds great value. There are so many ways that you can use the knowledge you learn from being certified on a daily basis.
Many jobs require you to be certified just in case something happens on the job.
“When I worked at a gym part time, it was required that all staff was first aid and CPR trained, even though I was just a receptionist,” Mrs. Said noted, adding that while teachers are not required to be certified, it is strongly encouraged in order to offer the safest place possible if something unexpected were to happen.
It isn't just on the job where knowing CPR is important. According to the American Heart Association, over 85% of cases of cardiac arrest happen at home and because of this, many people do not get the care they need. Knowing CPR can increase the victim’s chance of survival. According to the AHA, every minute someone does not receive CPR, their chance of survival is reduced 7 to 10 percent.
Mr. Matthew Winston, who works for the Hollis Fire Department, says, “There is so much going on in our day to day lives, as we are a very busy society, that the likelihood of someone getting hurt or needing help breathing increases. Therefore the need for quicker care is paramount. Another vitally important byproduct (of having people CPR/First Aid trained) is a patient getting "pre-care" prior to the arrival of EMTs and paramedics, which in some cases could mean life or death.”
Most communities have classes for CPR and First Aid. You can look to your town’s recreational center website or go to the Red Cross website, type in your zip code, and sign up for a class. Ages nine and up can sign up and get at least some exposure to what being First Aid and CPR certified would look like. Many people who take the class tend to get certified. There are also options to just take a First Aid class.
Get in the know about Lyme Disease
BY CONNOR LEEMAN, WAYNE TWOMBLY, AND KALEB JOHNSON
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme disease, caused by deer ticks, affects about 30,000 people every year in the US. Here in Maine, Lyme disease has become a major health concern. In 2017, 1,800 people were infected, an increase of 23% over 2016. Maine's rate of infection, 138 per 100,000 residents, is drastically higher than the U.S. rate of less than 20 per 100,000 residents.
In general, ticks usually live in large patches of long grass and along wood lines. If you find a tick on you, it is most likely an American dog tick or a black-legged deer tick. There are many other ticks in the world, such as the Lone Star Tick or the Rocky Mountain. These ticks carry their own diseases and are not found in Maine.
While Lyme disease is highly treatable if caught early, the CDC states that you should not take this disease lightly. From 1998-2003 there were more than 120 deaths from Lyme Disease in the US.
All you need to get infected is the bite of one tick. The tick has to be attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours to transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. That's why it is important to always check yourself after you go outdoors.
Maine residents who have been stricken by the disease report that it was easy to treat early on. But while penicillin and anti-inflammatory drugs can treat the disease, it may still cause symptoms such as joint pain and fever.
Those who have been infected advise others to wear protective clothing and be careful with going outside along tall grass, and woods as that’s where they live and like to bite.
Lyme disease is something to worry about and to always keep in mind. Remember, you experience any tell-tale signs of disease, such as a red bullseye-like rash or joint pain and fever, you should seek medical attention.
Sports-related injuries: are you next?
BY CHARA STERLINE and MACKENZIE CAMPBELL
Many students love the rush and the feeling of playing a sport and representing their school. But sometimes, playing a sport comes with downsides. Students playing sports may end up breaking an arm, fracturing a bone, or spraining an ankle. In the United States, there are more than two million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
According to a survey by the Mayo Clinic, over the past 10 years, 67 percent of sports injuries occurred to boys and 33 percent to girls. Football is a big contributor to those statistics.
Athletic trainer Jenna McCurdy oversees most of the athletes who are injured while playing a sport at BEHS. Ms. McCurdy says the ratio of boys to girls getting injured is 50/50. She says most injuries occur because “high school students are more likely to be injured because they know the sport and they are very aggressive in their sports.”
One study suggests that athletes around the age of 14 and under are even more at risk for sports injuries, but for different reasons. While high school athletes have often played their sport for years, younger athletes are still learning and their bodies are still growing. Mr. Eric Curtis, the high school athletic director, was formerly the AD at the middle school. He agrees that middle school students are more likely to be injured because “they are still awkward and they don’t know the sport well enough.”
According to atyourownrisk.org, a clearinghouse of information about sports injuries, 62% of school sports injuries occur during practices. Mr. Curtis says that he agrees with this assessment.
Ms. McCurdy, however, sees her share of game day injuries. "Games are important to them and they try very hard to make sure they win," she says.”
Concussions are an especially worrisome injury at the high school level. Each year children continue to do damage to their brain by playing sports. A concussion temporarily interferes with the way the brain works. Depending on how bad the concussion is, it can sometimes cause brain bleeds.
Children who have concussions, depending on the type of concussion, might need some classroom adjustment like a lighter workload and may have to do half days for a little while. In addition, “having a concussion puts children at higher risk of having another,” according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.
Why you need to solve sleep problems
By Emily Bartash, Becca Marshall, and Elizabeth Pennell
Sleep is something we all need, but often times struggle to get. There are many things to be done in just one day: work, school, friends, family, and the list goes on. Life is busy, and busy teens, who need a long night's sleep, can attest to that!
On average a teen will get between five and six hours of sleep. This is much lower in comparison to the eight or nine hours of sleep average teens are supposed to get as recommended by doctors.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a sleep habit survey that involved 3,000 teens from all different backgrounds, lives, and parts of the U.S. The study revealed that teens get an average of six and a half hours of sleep each night, which is one and a half hours under the lowest recommended hours of sleep by doctors.
While an hour and a half does not seem like that much time lost, it really is. Take a look in a classroom. Most teens sit there half asleep. So why don’t they just get more sleep, right? Well, it’s because of irregular sleep schedules that confuse their internal clock and the part of the brain that produces melatonin, which is responsible for telling the body it’s time to sleep.
There is also a “phase shift” that teens are dealing with at the same time. As Dr. Richard Seligman, a pulmonologist a the Presbyterian Sleep Disorders Center in New Mexico, stated in an interview with U.S. News, “teens are also battling with a phase shift which makes it harder to fall asleep before eleven then wake up early in the morning. That's why it is so hard for high school students that wake up at five or six in the morning in order to make it to class.”
Now, this alone sounds quite hard to manage, but that’s not all teens have to deal with. Teens have to deal with a still growing body and a developing brain. This is on top of classes, homework, sports, relationships, jobs, and electronics that all clamor for their attention. All of these things add up quickly and can be very tiring, leaving little time to sleep. An informal survey at Bonny Eagle High School turned up students who say they only get four hours of sleep a night, “on a good day." With all the responsibilities teens have, in the end it is sleep, that is so necessary for them, that ends up getting cut.
The effects of sleep deprivation can catch up to you very quickly. One effect includes concentration difficulties. Without the proper amount of sleep, students find it hard to concentrate in school. Students may also forget what they are learning. The decision-making process can also be impaired. When students do not have enough sleep, they might not be able to think clearly. This can change the way they respond to people, which can have a negative impact on social health. Physical health is also negatively impacted. When teenagers are suffering from lack of sleep, they are not performing at their best, which can be hard for students playing sports.
Lack of sleep also has long term effects. These include high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and a high chance of a stroke. Dr. Seligman and other sleep experts say that getting the recommended amount of sleep can be difficult, but it is far from impossible. There are many ways to boost energy throughout the day. In the morning and right before bed, avoid playing on a phone, as blue light from the phone affects the eyes and makes it seem like it is brighter and can confuse your brain into thinking it’s day time.
Showering at night can also impact sleep. Although warm showers are relaxing, the water can wake up the body. For this reason, showering in the morning is a better option and can even help awaken the brain.
Making nightly and morning routines can help the mind know when it is time to be tired and when it is time to be awake, but keep in mind that these routines only work if you stick to them. Hitting snooze on your alarm is not a good idea, as it can throw off a morning routine and mess up the internal clock. Fresh air is good for the body, especially when a person feels tired, because it helps your body wake up. Although it is hard for students to get outside during the day, even a short 15-minute walk outside can do so much to wake up the brain and help you to focus on your homework. Drinking more water and eating more nutritious foods can also help. Your body needs the proper vitamins to function throughout the day, and without them the body can become rundown and tired. By taking these things into consideration, teens at Bonny Eagle can get a good night’s sleep.