Teen Cell Phone Addiction

Mizeria Birmingham
5 min readMay 14, 2021

A quick search for something on your phone can be useful and very helpful but are teens and young adults having an addiction to their phones? This is not a question that can simply be answered. There are many what-if situations regarding this topic. Such as what if parents’ concern is because of all the negative perceptions of Technology? What if teens are brought into the conversation about too much screen time/phone addiction? These are great questions that play into the same topic that I’m talking about now. In this article, I’m hoping to enlighten you a little bit on my point of view.

A survey conducted by CNN’s said the average teenager checks their phone about once every hour. Many resources on this topic seemed to appeal to concerned parents when I googled it; there has actually never been a confirmed diagnosis of a “phone addiction”. Understanding that having a conversation with somebody whose eyes are glued to some sort of technology can be very frustrating, you know they’re not paying their fullest attention to the conversation you’re trying to have which is even more frustrating when you’re trying to really have a genuine conversation with someone. People do have a right to be concerned. In a study conducted in 2016 49% of teens said they did feel that they were addicted to their cell phones. Also, 72% of teens and 48% of parents in the same survey said that they feel a need to respond to text messages and social media notifications IMMEDIATELY. So is it that we are addicted to our phones or is it we are addicted to answering as quickly as possible?

In a different study, 45% of teens said they are online constantly with the other44% saying they were on the internet at least several times a day. 45% of females and 42% of males said that they were addicted to technology, especially social media. These facts give us the conclusion that it is not necessarily the addiction to the cell phone but the addiction to responding.

What are the negative consequences of cell phones you might ask? The blue light from cell phones and technology, in general, can give you headaches and cause eye strain. Optometrists suggest enlarging or zooming in on the page to read because reading such small text on phones and computers can cause extreme eye strain giving you even more headaches. Many people are concerned with the state of Technology currently since many people are working from home and many students are attending school at home. Many people are wondering what the consequences would be for all of this technology. We use technology to communicate with family and friends but now we’re using it to make sure we’re getting our education or getting a paycheck too. This puts us in a situation where the addiction to our phones can further go to the general of Technology.

What I have understood from all of the articles and surveys is it is not necessarily an addiction to your cell phone but an addiction to responding and seeing what that notification was. There were many ways that people said “you can change your diction” but personally I think the best thing you can do is turn off notifications. Put your phone on do not disturb mode and take off important contact with your best friend, your significant other, your mom. This eliminates the addiction to the notification. Since everything I read said that there is no addiction to cell phones but they are directions to social media and the notifications the real question is are we just spending too much time on our phones on social media and games and communicating with friends.

Being constantly on the phone can have you develop bad habits such as texting while driving. It can also leave you feeling withdrawn from people around you and have an impact on your anxiety and mental health. It can also lead to disturbance while sleeping and insomnia, or leave you feeling attached to your phone. Teens and young adults have reported losing time while scrolling and watching Tik-Tok putting a timer or stopwatch to see how much time you’re actually spending on Tik-Tok. Ways to help with your “phone addiction” making a plan, many articles said that making a plan on how much time you should spend on each app daily has been known to help people who feel like they have a “phone addiction”. There are many apps that can track and limit how much time you’re spending on each app. This is great for limiting how much time you spend on social media and how much time you’re spending interacting with family and friends in real life. Another way to help is to establish screen-free zones with your family and friends. A screen-free zone is a place/time when using your phone is not allowed such as at dinner family movie night any kind of intimate interaction with family and friends.

I’ve read article after article about “cell phone addiction” but nowhere has there been proven an actual addiction to cell phones but what I have learned taking on this research project is maybe I do spend too much time on my phone maybe I do need to engage more during family time. These are all questions from reading these articles that have popped into my head. The real question I have is do you think you spend too much time on your phone? From what I see I think I do. I think with online school and the best way to spend time with your friends during covid is being on social media and text/call. I feel like I do spend too much time on mine. After doing all of this research I would have to say I’m going to take a step back from my phone leave it in my room when I and my family are watching a movie, and make sure it’s in my pocket during dinner, make sure my ringer is off when I’m spending time with family so I only respond when I have a moment. I hope from this article you get some insight so you can get a glimpse into your own life and how technology, especially cell phones are impacting your way of life and connecting with the really intelligent and diverse people around you.

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