CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Study: 50 Percent of Teens Addicted to Smartphones, Which May Cause Conflict at Home

Phones
(Photo : Joseph Morris/Flickr/CC) One in two teens have an addiction to smartphones which is often a cause of conflict between parents and kids, according to a recent survey by Common Sense Media.

Almost 60 percent of parents said that they believe their children are addicted to smart phones, and about 50 percent of the kids agreed to that, according to a new survey conducted by Common Sense Media released on Tuesday.

This technology addiction "is causing daily conflict in homes," CSM chief Jim Steyer said, adding that "families are concerned about the consequences."

The non-profit group interviewed 1,240 parents and their children aged between 12 and 18 years in the U.S.

Most of the teens check their phones frequently and feel compelled to reply to the messages as soon as they find them on their devices.

About 78 percent of children check their phones almost every hour, and 72 percent admitted to having an intense need to respond to text and social media messages. Parents (48 percent) were less likely than their kids to reply to the messages as often, but 56 percent adults did check their cell phones while driving.

The study's findings pointed out that the use of technology can strain relationship between parents and children, and have adverse effects on kids' homework and family time.

It is also one of the causes of conflicts at home, as 36 percent parents and 32 percent children said they argued with each other almost daily over excessive phone use. More than 75 percent parents thought that their children don't pay attention to them at home during family times due to distraction posed by devices.

A previous report by CSM released last year suggested that US teens use up about nine hours per day on media.

Holland Haiis, a digital detox expert, said that addiction to technology can lead to potential social problems that parents need to be aware of.

"If your teens would prefer gaming indoors, alone, as opposed to going out to the movies, meeting with friends for burgers or any of the other ways that teens build camaraderie, you may have a problem," Haiis told CNN.

Dr. Beth Peters, a clinical psychologist specializing in teens and families said that taking away technology from children can have adverse impact on their lives.

"To adolescents, the social network and contact with friends is the paramount developmental task and focus," Peters said. "When you remove a teen's lifeline to their friends, there will be a major emotional backlash, a breakdown of the parent-child relationship."

Experts say that depriving kids from devices is not the answer, as balanced stimulation from technology is crucial for teen's social and cognitive development, but there is a need to set concrete rules in the family to limit the media access time, and reserve special times together for family activities.

"From attention disorders and multitasking to basic social interaction and interpersonal skills, we need to devote more time and research to understanding the impact of media use on our kids and then adjust our behavior accordingly," Wartella noted.

Tags Technology impact on teens and families, Common Sense Media

Web Analytics