Smartphone addiction has become an important issue facing parents. For parents with a teenager, this doesn’t come as a shock. Have you had frustrating confrontations with your child about their smartphone usage? Probably more times than you’d like to count.
Smartphone addictions are so common. It’s hard to overcome because using smartphone devices has now been integrated into our everyday lives.
Figured out Teen’s smartphone addiction yet?
Smartphone addiction is a modern phenomenon. It is quite different from the older addictions we know and are used too. In the past, being addicted meant something different to parents. Parents are worried about hard drugs. Today, that plane has now shifted. Teens spend an average of 7hours daily on their smartphones.
We can all agree that allowing kids to spend so much time on the screen is unhealthy and parents have tried managing this when the only screen children watch is the Television but now that smartphones have taken over; it is not more challenging than ever to control their screen time.
Smartphone addiction is beyond just texting
Smartphone addiction doesn’t just revolve around texting or talking; it goes well beyond that. It includes games and most especially social media. Parents mostly think what teens do on their smartphones is mostly to communicate with their friends; what they really do is a comment, criticize and admire posts on the “net”, most of the time they are just commenting on activities. They are always on the look-out for likes, dis-likes or comments to their posts, the brain is known to release dopamine (this is what triggers us being happy) at the sound of the phone ringing or notification of a new text.
Smartphones were developed and launched so humans can have access to resources at their fingertips but what it has now become is an addiction for teens. Take for example Instagram – a community building app, teens go there for validation instead.
Smartphone addiction is not normal
Though smartphone addiction is the current trending thing in this times; it is important that we know it is not normal. Inface smartphone addiction is a behavioral disorder. Like any other addictions, once triggered it is difficult to stop.
Teenagers’ smartphone addiction includes regular and constant use of their smartphone for any activity. Regular use of smartphones can easily pivot to an addiction, as a result this excludes them from being connected to the real world.
Smartphone addiction Indicators
Listed below are some behavior teens exhibit that indicates if they are addicted to their smartphones. The list is not exhaustive but it contains major pointers.
Checking E-mail and social media
Constantly texting and always looking forward to the notification sound
Worrying about smartphone battery and access to electrical power
Always looking for a spot with strong internet connection
Smartphone is the last thing they see before they sleep and first thing they see after they wake
Cannot perform any activity without the use of their smartphone
If you know someone suffering from smartphone addiction; know you are not alone as Teen smartphone addiction is not only an issue to them but also to their family and community.
Smartphones are the primary and most common hub of information and communication for teens. Chatting is now the best way teens communicate with each other, therefore it is not a shock that teens spend the majority of their time on it but how did this become an addiction will always be a shock.
Smartphone addiction has not turned teens to walking zombies, some walkways in China have to put up a sign to avoid people from colliding with each other because they are glued to their phones. Teens that suffer from this addiction find it difficult communicating with humans physically and as a result they fail in communicating with their families.
Curbing or breaking Teen’s smartphone addiction is a lot of work, courage and consistency, we all know how teens can be. There are some strategies that would be of great help in helping break this addiction; they are listed below;
Apply data limits on smartphone usage
Set App limits that causes a force shutdown of application- there is a software that helps achieve this
Create a digital sabbath day for the family, even if it’s just once a week or month
Create a tech-time out especially during dinner or family time.
Seeking professional help is advised if setting boundaries is not not working; Teens can be taught to be comfortable outside their smartphones, This would enable them live a healthy and more functional lifestyle.
When smartphone privileges are cut-off, it might seem to them that they cannot function and this feeling is because they have outsourced majorly of their functions to their smartphone, swapping the smartphone with other healthy activities allows them to be more engaged and connected to the real world which is the best gift they can be given.