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School Year’s 8-10 Category Runner up Screenagers by Siena May Lee

Down in minutes, out for hours.
No screen time - silence to devour.
The day two billion faces dropped; fingers paused.
Social media disappeared, but what was the cause?

Six hours of disarray,
The reason - a glitch.
But was it ....or society with an itch?
A planetary scale demonstration,
The domination of our very station.
The classroom door was opened with dread.
"Oh, thank goodness. We thought you were dead!!!".

Cries of despair, relief, and outrage.
The punishment and cruelty to disengage.
The world just stopped, time ticking.
The chaos was transmitting.

"I felt so lonely last night."
"Hashtag-I feel so uptight."
"I'm more popular online."
"Tag bf-you're still mine?".

"My heart felt so empty!
Nothing to fill me with likes".
"What do I do with no filter?",
"Disconnected, bewilder".

Breakups and makeups
No dopamine hits
Addicted to opinion,
Paranoia, conflicts

Waiting behind our screens, our life to perform
A filter once more, a return to the norm.

Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:

Siena has constructed a wonderful poem, Screenagers, about the crashing of all social media platforms, a communication disaster, which took place not that long ago. This global crisis is felt mainly by the young, who have grown up in a world where we are all interconnected, and being online is as essential as breathing. Teenagers have become ‘screenagers’. The poem is effectively a confession of how disconcerting and bewildering it is when technology lets us down. Emotions are stirred, loneliness becomes bitter, and our real life depends on the messages and information we are fed. Our personality is constructed from the hum and whirr of media interaction. This is a light-hearted poem, but with a serious underlying message. Well done, Siena.

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