The Real Truth About Teenagers and Smartphone Addiction
According to recent survey results, approximately half of American teenagers admit that they feel addicted to their smartphones. About 78% of teens confess to peeking at their phones every hour to check for new calls, texts or social media notifications. Why this constant need to stay connected?
According to 72% of teens, they feel an urgency to check messages and notifications as soon as they arrive on their phone. Even when they don’t want to check their phones or spend time on other activities, the constant notifications pull them in. 36% percent of parents said they argued with their child daily about device use, and 77% of parents feel their children get distracted by their devices and don’t pay attention when they are together at least a few times per week. So how can parents get teens off their smartphones?
Parents as Role Models
Any parent wanting to get their teen off smartphones must first be present and put their own phone away. Technology addiction is not restricted to teens, and 65% of parents also admit to checking their phones every hour. Teens notice their parents behavior, and learn from it. Therefore, if the parents set a good example, the teens are more likely to model their behavior after it. If parents put their phones away at the dining table, then the teens are less likely to resent that rule.
Parents can create ‘no phone zones’ in parts of the home, such as at the dining table. Or requiring their teen to put away the phone at certain times during the day. There are apps such as Teensafe which parents can use to disable their teen’s smartphone. Teens can also be told that they can have a smartphone when they can pay for part or all of their phone bills by getting an after school job.
Encouraging Face to Face Socialization
Allowing the teen to have friends over after school, or encouraging them to join after school clubs and activities can cut down on smartphone time. If the teen is kept isolated or expected to be at home all the time, then they will spend more time on their smart devices.
Have a Conversation
Older teens are more likely to argue with their parents about any new rules set around smartphone usage. Parents should take this opportunity to have a conversation with their teen, instead of simply laying down the law. Explain to the teen why it’s important for them to spend time connecting with the family and pursuing other activities rather than being glued to the phone.
Are you concerned that your teen is addicted to their smartphone? At Blueprints, we can provide personalized support for your teen. Contact us to find out how our staff and programs can help.