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Phone Addicts: Half of All Teens Feel They Have A Problem

Phone Addicts: Half of All Teens Feel They Have A Problem

Since today’s ever-advancing tech world means screen time can begin at infancy, it is not much of a surprise that teens feel they cannot live without their phones.The Boston Globe reports about a poll conducted by Common Sense Media that surveyed more than 1,200 teens and their parents.

The poll looks at how media and technology affects family relationships. The survey finds that 50% of teens are willing to admit that they are addicted to their phones and 59% of parents surveyed said their kids were hooked. It’s no wonder teens are feeling the need for screen time since the survey also found that kids ages 8 - 12 spend an average of 6 hours in front of some sort of device.

When it comes to teens and their parents, the addiction accusations go both ways with 28% of teens saying their parents looked at their phones too often and 27% of parents agreeing. And this may or may not come as a shock, but most of the parents involved in the study admitted to checking their phones while driving and more than half of the teens said they had witnessed the dangerous act.

And when both parents and teens are busy looking into their smartphone screens, there is conflict brewing. Both groups complained of the other being too distracted or preoccupied with their phones. Common Sense CEO James Steyer explains, “What we’ve discovered is that kids and parents feel addicted to their mobile devices. It is causing daily conflict in homes, and . . . families are concerned about the consequences.”

Since previous generations have not had to deal with phone addiction in quite the same way, it is not surprising that parents are concerned. Though Ellen Wartella, director of Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development, says the survey results are worrying she also feels more research must be done to figure out where to go from here. Wartella says, “We need to devote more time and research to understanding the impact of media use on our kids and then adjust our behavior accordingly.”

What do you think about the survey that suggests half of all teens believe they are addicted to their phones?

Do you try to limit screen time in the home for your kids and for yourself?

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