Unfortunately, 50 percent of teens are addicted to their phones, on a global level. Moreover, 84 percent of them say they can’t go a day without checking their phones.
Since they’re more malleable than adults and being in a phase of life where their brains are still growing, they can easily get hooked to something than adults.
But, smartphone addiction can happen to everyone and if we were to calculate how much time we spend on our Instagrams, Snapchats, and Facebooks, we would be shocked by the result.
Is Smartphone Addiction a Real Thing?
Being addicted to smartphones is real and almost as bad as drug addiction. Smartphones tend to be by our sides all the time and we include them in different areas of our daily lives. Since adults can get hooked to phones, imagine what the situation in growing children is.
According to rehab specialist, Mandy Saligari, parents make serious mistake by not realizing the dangerous effect of smartphone overuse in children and tend to only focus to prevent drug and alcohol use in their children.
From a biological point of view, drugs, alcohol, and smartphones influence our brains in the same way. Saligari once said in an interview that when you’re giving your children a phone or a tablet, it’s like you’re giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of coke.
In the clinic in London where she works, Saligari explains that 2/3 of the patients are young people between the ages of 16 and 20 who’re being treated for overuse of phones.
She also did surveys were it was concluded that 1/3 of children in Britain between the ages of 12 and 15 said they don’t know how to balance between screen time and other activities.
They spend a lot of time on their phones rather than getting involved in music, sports, etc.
Why Do Parents Give Children Smartphones?
In most cases, giving phones to our children is how we distract them or because some parents think this will somehow make them smarter. But, when children between the ages of 2 and 5 are given smartphones to reduce their tantrums, parents are in a way paving the way for dependency.
According to a study done by the San Diego University, smartphones have a negative influence on the emotional health of children. They spend a lot of time watching videos, playing games, texting, and seeing all kinds of age-inadequate content.
Children who’re addicted to technology may have a harder time managing their emotions or managing daily challenges in life as they’re growing up.
But, in addition to restricting the time your child spends on the phone, it’s also pivotal to lead by example as your child learns the most by watching what you do. So, make sure you reduce the amount of time you’re scrolling on your phone too, especially when you’re spending time with them.