Solving the Cellphone Addiction: Recognition Is Step #1

By Editorial Staff

Are teens starting to recognize and solve their own cellphone addictions? According to new data from the Pew Research Center, "a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world" with surveys, opinion polls, analysis and research, more than half of U.S. teens (54 percent) admit they spend too much time on their cellphones, and the majority of admitted overusers (52 percent) are taking steps to cut back on phone time.

The center surveyed more than 700 teens ages 13-17 and more than 1,000 parents of teens, and found that parents, while disturbed about the consequences of their children's overuse of cellphones and other screen technology, are also part of the problem. The survey found 36 percent of parents admit they spend too much time on their phones, and 15 percent say they are distracted at work by their cellphone. What's more, many teens say their parents can be distracted or disengaged from a conversation because they (the parent) is using their phone. (Parents have a similar complaint about their teens.)

Here are a few of the other key findings from the survey:

  • 72 percent of teens and 57 percent of parents say they check their phone for messages as soon as they wake up.
  • 42 percent of teens feel anxious without their phone in their possession; 25 percent feel lonely and 24 percent feel upset.
  • 57 percent of teens are also cutting back on the amount of time they spend on social media, and 58 percent have reduced time spent playing video games.

If recognition that a problem exists is the first step toward solving it, then these survey findings are both distressing and encouraging. To review the entire survey, which also provides thought-provoking observations on cellphone use by teens and parents, click here.

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