Is the internet overshadowing the conversations you have with your teen? Is family time never enough for your them? Trust us. You are not alone.
According to a 2016 survey, at least half of teenagers felt addicted to their devices. The study in January of 2018 reveals that 47% of parents believe their teen is addicted to their phone.
Although the APA has not entered ‘internet addiction’ into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the social sciences (DSM) as a psychological disorder, addiction to ‘tech’ devices is all too real; it is even more severe for children and adolescents because they are still at that impressionable stage in development.
So, how can you tell if your teen is a phone addict?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my teen’s disposition change suddenly when attempts are made to stop his/her internet/phone access? Does he/she become outraged, anxious, irritable, or violent when you try to take away their phone or when it becomes unavailable for use?
- Is my teen spending so much time on his/her smartphone that he/she begins to neglect personal hygiene or normal daily activities such as sleep?
- Is my teen reluctant to participate in any activities (social or otherwise) that do not allow for the use of tech devices?
- Has my teen been caught lying, sneaking around or breaking family rules to spend more time on a smartphone?
- Does my teen stay online much longer than he/she intended to?
- Has my teen tried, but failed, to stay off his/her phone for extended periods each day? Studies show that 56% of teens check their phones, even while driving.
- Does my teen rely heavily on the internet/phone to avoid real-life problems or to relieve his/her bad moods?
- Does my teen deny that he overuses or spends too much time on his cell phone even when it is glaringly apparent that he does? As is consistent with all addiction, most addicts will deny their addictions. Teens may not admit that they spend too much time on their phones even if they do.
- Does my teen “lose track of time “ when he/she is on their phone?
- Do I frequently find myself in arguments with my teens about their internet/phone use? A 2016 survey showed that one-third of parents and teens (36% and 32%, respectively) say they argue with each other daily about device use.
- Did I answer yes to two or more of the questions asked above? According to a study (Roboto Poli, 2017), if a person exhibits the above, he or she is considered a phone addict.
Studies show that half of all parents fear that excess internet usage negatively affects their child’s health, and they are right too.
Now you know your teen is addicted to their phone, here’s what you can do about it. What to do if your teen is addicted to their phones