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One in two teens say they’re addicted to smartphones

According to a new poll, one in two teens say they feel addicted to their smartphones, while 59% of parents worry that their young ones are addicted to their cellphones, tablets or laptops and 27% of parents believe they themselves are addicted.

The study released Tuesday by children’s advocacy group Common Sense Media, calls it the first to explore parents’ and teens’ growing dependence on the tech gadgets that are supposed to empower us.


The survey also said that this addiction is causing friction between parents and children. About one-third of both parents and teens say they argue daily about device use, while only 21% of parents and 30% of kids say that they never argue about it.


“I have these conversations all the time,” said Dina Lara, a San Jose mother of two. She recently confiscated her 15-year-old daughter’s cellphone for five months. And she limits the screen time for her son in middle school.

Ezekiel Lara, 11, said he plays online games for an hour or two daily. How much would he like to play?

“Maybe two thousand or three thousand hours a day,” he said.


For the study Common Sense Media conducted 1,200 interviews with children and their parents between the ages of 12 to 18.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit organization provides education on media and safe technology for children. 72% of all teens felt the urge to respond to texts and social networking messages immediately and 80% check their phones hourly, the survey found. Moreover, 85% of all parents 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.”

On the other hand, the study pointed out the significance of glancing past mere measurements of time spent on tech.

“What looks like excessive use and distraction may actually be a reflection of new ways of maintaining peer relations and engaging in communities,” the study observed.

Smartphones causing problems