School

School of Humanities and Sciences

Department

Anthropology

ICC Theme

Identities

Date

2-4-2019 1:40 PM

Abstract

The boom of smart phone technology took off in the 1990s. At its height generations of children, known as millennials (born 1977 to 1995) and centennials (born 1996 and on), have grown up using this technology in their everyday lives. A study that consisted of more than 5,000 American teens found that 3/4 owned an iPhone in 2017 (Twenge 2017). These two generations, now in college and in the workforce, spend an exceptional amount of time on their devices. While spending time with friends and family, many people are wrapped up in what is happening on their devices rather than what is happening in the moment. One teen, talking about the past summer said, “I've been on my phone more than I’ve been with actual people” (Twenge 2017). Through an anonymous online survey, this project examines how millennials and centennials use their time. It specifically seeks to understand how much time these two generations spend on their devices and how much time they spend outdoors. Specific themes emerged from the 161 survey responses. The four main themes that this poster presentation will present are: 1) A significant inverse correlation between the amount of time people spent on their devices versus the amount of time spent outdoors. Those who spent more time on their devices were less likely to spend time outdoors. 2) Respondents reported feeling the need to be connected to their devices for various reasons all the time. The top three reasons were: work, being able to promptly respond to people, and fear of missing out on things that were happening with their friends. 3) 149 of the 161 respondents expressed feelings of anxiety, stress, and sadness when disconnected from their devices. 4) People who experience extended periods of time, usually 24 hours or longer, disconnected from their technology felt refreshed after being disconnected. The preliminary findings of this project seem to suggest that the more time people spend outside and disconnected, the better they feel. This research also supports similar findings from other studies. Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett and Andy Jones (2018) found that “greenspace exposure is associated with wide ranging health benefits.” Research done by the University of Derby and the Wildlife Trusts (2016) reported that “spending time in nature has positive impacts on physical health…as well as improved mood and reduced anxiety.” This research has significant implications for schools and college/university campuses to consider their student body and to advocate and allocate resources for outdoor and environmental engagement that can enhance student life, productivity and well-being, disconnected from technology.

Document Type

Poster

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Apr 2nd, 1:40 PM

Technology and the Outdoors

The boom of smart phone technology took off in the 1990s. At its height generations of children, known as millennials (born 1977 to 1995) and centennials (born 1996 and on), have grown up using this technology in their everyday lives. A study that consisted of more than 5,000 American teens found that 3/4 owned an iPhone in 2017 (Twenge 2017). These two generations, now in college and in the workforce, spend an exceptional amount of time on their devices. While spending time with friends and family, many people are wrapped up in what is happening on their devices rather than what is happening in the moment. One teen, talking about the past summer said, “I've been on my phone more than I’ve been with actual people” (Twenge 2017). Through an anonymous online survey, this project examines how millennials and centennials use their time. It specifically seeks to understand how much time these two generations spend on their devices and how much time they spend outdoors. Specific themes emerged from the 161 survey responses. The four main themes that this poster presentation will present are: 1) A significant inverse correlation between the amount of time people spent on their devices versus the amount of time spent outdoors. Those who spent more time on their devices were less likely to spend time outdoors. 2) Respondents reported feeling the need to be connected to their devices for various reasons all the time. The top three reasons were: work, being able to promptly respond to people, and fear of missing out on things that were happening with their friends. 3) 149 of the 161 respondents expressed feelings of anxiety, stress, and sadness when disconnected from their devices. 4) People who experience extended periods of time, usually 24 hours or longer, disconnected from their technology felt refreshed after being disconnected. The preliminary findings of this project seem to suggest that the more time people spend outside and disconnected, the better they feel. This research also supports similar findings from other studies. Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett and Andy Jones (2018) found that “greenspace exposure is associated with wide ranging health benefits.” Research done by the University of Derby and the Wildlife Trusts (2016) reported that “spending time in nature has positive impacts on physical health…as well as improved mood and reduced anxiety.” This research has significant implications for schools and college/university campuses to consider their student body and to advocate and allocate resources for outdoor and environmental engagement that can enhance student life, productivity and well-being, disconnected from technology.

 

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