Student gets verbal about youth addiction to their mobile devices | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Student gets verbal about youth addiction to their mobile devices

Speech Bee whiz Teresa Collins argues that youth need to let go of their smartphones to have healthier lives.

Speech Bee whiz Teresa Collins argues that youth need to let go of their smartphones to have healthier lives.

BY ALINA TSUI  |  Could our obsession with mobile devices be detrimental to our youngsters? Teresa Collins, an eighth grader at Chinatown’s Transfiguration School, is convinced that it is — and she’s making a persuasive argument.

Collins is the winner of the Regional Speech Bee, which included more than 2,500 students from 25 Catholic schools, which qualifies her for the National Speech Bee. 

In her competition speech, she makes a strong case for changing our views of mobile devices and our attachment to them. She does not own any mobile phones, has a computer at home for educational purposes and spends less than two hours online every day. 

Collins contrasts her own habits with those of her texting- and Instagram-addicted peers.

“We are in a time when people are too attached to their devices,” Collins said. “Many studies have shown that kids ages eight through 18 are using electronics for an average of seven and a half hours a day. This clearly affects our physical health — because we aren’t going outside enough — but it also damages our mental well-being.” 

Collins has seen firsthand the effects of these “annoying” mobile devices through conversations with friends who were “not there.”

The National Speech Bee requires a submitted video recording and will have 26 students competing.

When asked what she would do with the $2,000 grand prize, she stated, “I’d be happy to get that far.” More important, she said, is being able to influence others about young people’s health development.

Collins lives in Brooklyn, and has a 25-minute commute to the Transfiguration School, at 29 Mott St.

The second-place winner of the Regional Speech Bee was seventh grader George Cooke, of Saint Joseph, Yorkville School, and the third-place winner was sixth grader Karlene Garcia, from Our Lady of Lourdes School.