Teens are starting to realize they have a screen-addiction | Cult of Mac

Teens are starting to realize they have a screen-addiction


Sometimes this feels like the only way to spend less time with our smartphone.
Photo: TechRax/YouTube

Self-reflection can be good, especially if that reflection is on the screen of your iPhone.

A Pew Research Center study on screen time and device distraction show more than 50 percent of all teenagers admit they spend too much time on their screens. The parents who say they fear for their children also admit they have device distraction problems of their own.

The findings from a study of 743 U.S. teens (13 to 17) and 1,058 parents are as encouraging as they are alarming. Those who admitted to having a problem say they are taking steps to free themselves from obsessive attachment.

Screen-addiction by the numbers

Researchers found 54 percent of the teens said they spend too much time with their smartphones. Two-thirds of the parents said they’re concerned about their kids’ screen time, but 36 percent admitted they too spend too much time with their phones.

The Center also found 72 percent of teens often or sometimes check for messages right after waking up. Sadly, 56 percent experience loneliness, upset or anxiety when separated from their smartphone.

Tech companies, including Apple, are beginning to find solutions for what they inadvertently started.

Earlier this year Apple introduced new controls through iOS 12 that allows users to set time limits on their device. Facebook and Instagram also followed suit with settings for users.

Teens and parents are also apparently paying attention to the increasing alarm bells on the impact excessive screen time have on our health.

More than half of the parents say they set screen time restriction and 52 percent of the teens say they are taking steps to curb video game play and their engagement with social media.

App developers are also trying to provide a service in this unique self-help space.

The app that says “Get Off Your Apps and Move!”
Screenshot: GOYA-Move/App Store

One parental control app for iOS is called GOYA-Move, with GOYA standing for Get Off Your Apps. It allows parents or even self-regulating teens and users to set a step goal that only opens apps, like Snapchat or Facebook, once you’ve reached your step goal.

“We all have either said it ourselves or heard parents complain that ‘kids don’t get outside these days’ (or) ‘Millennials are hooked on their mobile devices,’ “ GOYA-Move co-founder Isaac Gredinberg told Cult of Mac. “(The app won’t) let kids get back on their devices until actual steps are logged. Parents have the power to set the goals for their kids and ultimately promote a greater focus on their well-being.”