A recent, large-scale survey, found that some 54% of US teenagers, and 36% of parents of teens, felt that they spent too much time using their smartphones. While this is a self-reporting study, that 36% seems pretty reasonable. I realize it’s not the same thing, but when I’m babysitting my nephews, I definitely try to keep my phone usage to a minimum. But it definitely begs the question – how much time on your smartphone is too much time? This study wasn’t specific to say that the time spent on your phone had to be when you were around your kids. No, it simply asked people if they felt they spent too much time on their phones.
Both parents and teens have reported that they felt family members were distracted by their phone, during an in-person conversation at least some of the time. I don’t necessarily find myself on my phone a lot when I’m talking to other people. But I can certainly see how it’s easy to do. I can also see how it could make someone feel. If the person you’re talking to is constantly looking down at their phone, it’s likely to raise some feelings of insecurities.
The survey of more than 1,000 parents and 743 teens was carried out by the Pew Research Center. It found that just over half of teens had taken steps to cut back on their phone usage, especially around social media usage and games. That concern is shared by their parents, Pew reports.
“Parents, too, are anxious about the effects of screen time on their children, a separate survey shows. Roughly two-thirds of parents say they are concerned about their teen spending too much time in front of screens, and 57% report setting screen time restrictions for their teen in one way or another.
At the same time, some parents of teens admit they also struggle with the allure of screens: 36% say they themselves spend too much time on their cellphone. And 51% of teens say they often or sometimes find their parent or caregiver to be distracted by their own cellphone when they are trying to have a conversation with them.”
44% of the teens who participated in the study, said that they check their phones for messages and notifications as soon as they wake up. This, in my opinion, sets you up for a bad start to your day. It can cause anxiety and even stress, if not handled properly. In general, I think that phones can be a cause of stress and anxiety. More than two-thirds of parents say that their teenagers are often distracted by their phones during family conversations. Is there anything that can be done to overcome smartphone addiction? Or do we simply live in a time when being distracted is now the norm?
While Apple has taken steps to reduce the dependence on phones with their new Screen Time feature, more steps need to be taken in order to help people overcome the addiction that is a smartphone.