50% of Teens Say They’re Addicted to Smartphones

2 minute read

A new poll has found that one in two of teens say they feel addicted to their mobile devices, while 59% of parents worry that their young ones are addicted.

To discover how cell phones and mobile devices have affected child-parent relationships, Common Sense Media conducted 1,200 interviews with children and their parents between the ages of 12 to 18. The nonprofit, which provides education on media and safe technology for children, found that 72% of all teens felt the urge to respond to texts and social networking messages immediately and 80% check their phones hourly. Furthermore, 85% of all parents polled said that their teens get distracted by their devices.

“The poll paints a changed portrait of family life in 2016” says Common Sense Media’s CEO James P. Steyer in the report. “A significant minority of families seems to be truly struggling to integrate mobile technology in a healthy way. And many concerning behaviors and outcomes are associated with mobile use.”

However, according to Steyer, it is not all doom and gloom as this might be an evolution of normal family relationships: “The generational gap revealed in the different behaviors of teens and their parents raises the question of whether we may be too quick to label as “addiction” something that is actually a normal adaptation to rapidly and constantly evolving social norms,” Steyer said.


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