Half of teens think they’re addicted to their smartphones

Description:  A new poll that confirms just how much teens depend on their phones gives me even more to worry about.

Source: CNN.com

Date:May 3. 2016

Screenshot 2016-05-25 13.04.10 Screenshot 2016-05-25 13.03.59

Nearly 80% of teens in the new survey said they checked their phones hourly, and 72% said they felt the need to immediately respond to texts and social networking messages. Thirty-six percent of parents said they argued with their child daily about device use, and 77% of parents feel their children get distracted by their devices and don’t pay attention when they are together at least a few times per week.

Terry Greenwald, a father of three grown children, works as a custodian at a high school in Homer, Alaska, and said the hallways are often half-filled with “teenage zombies who are glued to their phones.”

They often walk near the walls so they can move from class to class without looking away from their screens, he said. “It gets interesting when they get to the stairways and the walls end for the stairway,” he said. “They don’t want to look up and they don’t way to tumble down the stairs but often just slow way down and inch along until they reach the wall just past the opening. They are often late to the next class, but that’s OK because they were successful at not diverting attention from their phone.”    read rest of story


1.  Do you feel their is a problem with too much use of smartphones in an individuals life?  Why?  or Why not?


25 thoughts on “Half of teens think they’re addicted to their smartphones

  1. Laura

    I believe that the use of a smartphone can be useful in some applications, like to use the maps or to look up something. It is also important for staying in contact with people. But sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. The generation that is in the 10-45 range i would say is the worst for the over use of their smartphones. You can walk down the street and see almost every person on their phone, this has cut out human interactions face to face, and eliminated the need for small talk. Although i am a user of a smartphone i would say that this is becoming a problem with society. It seems like that age of kids to get a smartphone is getting younger and younger. There are now five year olds who can operate a smartphone better then their parents, and want to play on it all the time. This has greatly reduced the amount of time that they spent playing with other people and being outside. And the older generations are on their phones all the time for work, now they are available all the time to their work. It has taken the separation between work and play and erased the line. Although they have become necessary, they have become a addiction as well.

  2. Tanner Siemens

    I do believe there is too much use of a smartphone in our individual lives, but I don’t want to say that that is a bad thing overall. I will start off by saying; yes too much of something is bad, much like too much sugar, caffeine, and for those introverts too much people interaction. I relate to this article and even some of the other comments. I could be doing something, anything and then I realize I haven’t looked at my phone. Sheer panic; what if I missed an important phone call, or if I hear my phone buzz. Do I look at it? What if someone needs something, does it need my attention. Of course the majority of the time I can answer no to all of those but what gets me is the what if. I like holding my phone, I like feeling connected, always plugged in if you will.

    This is why I think phones are good though, along with their constant use. Sure, we’re not using our phones to phone, but everything else in fact. We’re sending pictures and videos to people form all over different countries in an instant. We get to see news from around the globe. Those relatives you never get to talk to? Now you can keep up with every moment and talk to them in seconds. Being as connected as we are is wonderful, but by being so connected with everything outside of an arms reach we forget what is within our reach.

    We all do it, we’re with our friends and family, in person, and yet there we are wondering whats going on over elsewhere. By trying to be so connected elsewhere we are unfortunately forgetting to be connected to the now, the what is here. I think to be a properly connected society we need to be able to take the time and put it down and focus on the here and now instead of the what ifs and what ups elsewhere. I think a huge point to the addiction is not being able to put it down. Not being able to say “5 minutes away is fine.” If you’re scared to go camping because of service you might want to ask why. Is it because for a day you won’t know everything thats going on? Or, have you ever felt or beleived you felt your phone go off and yet it didn’t? Yeah, thats called phantom vibration. Now, I straight up have felt it, a few times actually. I get the feeling of “ooooo message” to discover nothing new arrived. After the first few times I’m like woah this is bad.

    Sure, being connected is super awesome. We know everything going on anywhere and yet, for being so good much like alot of things, too much is bad for us. So do I think there is a problem with overuse? Of course, but I think we all have the ability to control this overuse and sometimes put it down.

  3. Alan

    I think that there is a definite disconnect from person to person interactions. I also think that technology has led to a lack of meaningful social and personal relationships. However, this does depend on the individual. I know of some people that can balance technology and personal relationships perfectly. I do think that because technology is so prevalent now means that kids grow up using these devices without knowing any other kinds of interaction. As a kid I remember going out to play with friends and go on bike rides around town and staying home was never a good option. With my younger brother’s generation it seems as though every kid on the block has a new game or game system that they play at home. Sometimes my brother doesn’t even go out to his friend’s house because they can just play online.

  4. Sherry Lu

    I feel there is a problem with too much use of smartphones in an individual’s life, because not only are teens addicted to their smartphones, adults and even students like me are addicted to smartphones. I remembered the time when I do not have a smartphone; I only use my phone when I need to contact someone by texting or calling. When I need to go online to check for emails or Facebook messages I have to log on to a laptop or computer, instead of using the smartphone to check these notifications. It is certainly causing a problem, because as a student, I get distracted easily when I am studying. Whenever I see a notification, I’ll want to check it and reply the message, in which I cannot focus. Another problem with too much use of smartphone is when people are hang out with friends, instead of chatting and talking about the things in their lives, people tend to focus on their smartphones and ignore the conversations. Although smartphones make connections easier, it has also separate people and brings them further apart of fewer interactions.

  5. Shiqi Wang

    Obviously, people are paying more attention on their smart phone than other things in their daily life. Our smartphones are with us all of the time. They keep us in contact with loved ones. They record important moments in our lives. They offer easy access to the depths of human knowledge and the delights of our creativity. They entertain us when we are bored. They guide us when we are lost. They keep us company when we are lonely. Smartphones are enormously useful, but sometimes their allure can prove too strong. We feel compelled to respond to them, even if it means ignoring the people we’re with. We feel anxious or naked when they are not there. Our parents can’t understand us why we are so madly cling to the smart phones all the time. Some of us even bring phones when we taking shower. People may seem to have a real issue with smartphones, but it’s not always right to focus on the device. I found a survey which was made by a doctor who studies this area: three quarters of teenagers have their smartphone next to the bed, and it’s either on vibrate, or it’s on. About half of the young adults in the study get up at night to check their phones; that’s a serious problem. If they don’t sleep well, not only does it make them groggy, it affects their ability to remember things, it affects their ability to learn, it affects their ability to think clearly; their brains need to time flush out the junk it accumulates during the day.

  6. Karla Carcamo

    NOT ONLY TEENS ARE ADDICTED TO THEIR PHONE, EVERYONE, INCLUDING MYSELF IS ADDICTED. IT is a problem. I admit it. Instead of studying or just plain talking to friends and family, I am my phone talking to somebody else. It really cuts you away from the people around you and puts in in your own bubble. I know this may be a new way of communicating but humans still need physical interaction to fully create sustainable relationships. It’s a little scary to be honest. I have a two year old and I’ve lost the battle of technology but I want to start implementing rules not only on her but myself on less technology and more human interaction.

  7. Sandra Kang

    With the growth of technology, people develop an ever growing dependency for technology in our daily lives. Phones are one of the technologies that has advanced in the last 10 years; nowadays a smartphone is able to fit in numerous applications that we interact with and use every day, from when we wake up to fall asleep. The development of technology has pros such as the increased efficiency and comfort for society but also has some sacrifices. People of society, use their phones as alarms, calendars, cameras, and more. A smartphone is beginning to affect how people, especially teens, interact each other. Teens are not able to interact properly with people in on a personal level are often only communicate by text. Smartphones alter the way we process information, as we are able to “Google” the information instead of researching and I personally feel that the reliance on smartphones make our “smarter” society more uneducated as they do not actively search for that information on their own. People are more emotionally attached to their technology due to social networking platforms that connect us to the rest of the word. Due to the heavy daily emotional reliance, people all over the world is becoming more and more addicted to smartphones.

  8. Leah Kling

    The increasing use of smartphones in individual’s lives is evidently beginning to impede upon the way we interact with each other and build meaningful relationships. The extensive list of social media sites is also partly to blame for this issue as smartphones typically serve as a means to access those services. Cell phone addictions are evident everywhere you go, in restaurants individuals will sit on their phones rather than talking to the people around them. Most notably, cellphone addiction has made its way into the vehicles of individuals and is a significant distraction to drivers, thus increasing the likelihood of car accidents. As well smartphones change the way we process information, studies have shown that our brains have become accustomed to quick access to information and as a result we are increasingly impatient. Although smartphones have impeded upon our lives, it is highly unlikely that they will ever cease to be a part of society and thus we must adapt to the new connected world. The benefits of smartphones and the internet are vast and have significantly propelled technological innovations forwards in the sense that it has become easier to share and access information thus creating a more informed world.

  9. Zhiyao Guan

    Personally, using too much smartphones is becoming a problem in individual’s life. First of all, using too much cell phone makes teenagers distracted easily as mentioned in the article. They frequently check their smart phones to see whether there are new messages. Especially when they study, checking their smartphones too frequently is not good for them because they can’t be concentrated on what they are doing. It’s a good habit to focus on the thing you are doing in order to do it well. If you get distracted every now and then, you can’t do the work you are supposed to do well. It’s not only restricted to teenagers, some university students are also addicted to their smartphones, which is not good if they want to do their work with high efficiency. Secondly, using too much smartphones can have a negative effect on the health of teenagers. As is known to all, smartphones have radiations. Therefore, if teenagers spend too much time on it, it will have side effects on their physical health. Their eyesight will become worse and worse if they stare at the smartphone for a long period of time. Also, their health condition will become worse and worse because some teenagers might stare at their smartphone screen for a long time and keep the same position as well. Because of concentrating on their smartphones, therefore, they forget to go outside and take exercises, which has a bad influence on their health. From those two problems mentioned above, I believe that using too much smartphones is becoming an issue in teenagers’ as well as everyone’s daily life.

  10. Narinder

    I think that there is a problem with too much use of smartphones in an individuals life. People are
    becoming dependent on smartphones and feel lost without it. Like the article states, it has
    becoming the new addiction. It decreases social real time interaction in which is necessary and is apart of the human development process. It alters people attitudes and demeanors. The biggest concern is with children. In a state where they are experiencing the most growth not just
    physically but with neuropath ways in their brain, I feel it contributes to some pathways being
    underdeveloped (this is not referenced, its simply my opinion). Adults who overuse set an
    example to the youth that it is ok to constantly be on a smartphone. People are always worried
    about free wifi areas and chargers. It has changed the way society interacts and functions. Once a dependency has developed for usage of smartphone devices, it creates danger in which people are unaware of their surroundings. This can lead to injury or death because of too much use in which people may feel withdrawals or that they are missing out on an update if they don’t check that very instance while driving or crossing the road.

  11. David Zhang

    I think that teens are soooooo addicted to their smartphones, and this is not just my assumptions. It comes from my observations of relatives who are teens themselves. They are always holding onto their phones, either messaging, watching videos, or playing games. Most of us now leave our phone on the table, or in our bags or pockets. Teens seems to need to hold their phones in their hands, or they feel that a part of them is not in the right place.

    Smart phones is an amazing tool to stay informed and connected with your friends and colleagues. There are statistics thrown out in the article that suggests that smartphones are being overused, and we are losing valuable face-to-face time; people seems to prefer to communicate via instant or text messages now. The smartphone is a phone, and we barely use it to make phone calls. However, I believe that benefits of smartphones usage outweighs the negatives in an individual’s life, a lot of us cannot carry out our regular routine without smartphones and other high-tech devices that has become our window to the world. My standard of living is higher because of my usage of a smartphone, and I don’t think we use our phones too much, it’s just that smartphones can do so much for us that we rely on them all the time.

  12. Anji Sanusi

    Technology has it pros and its cons. I use my phone or laptop almost everyday depending on what i am doing but most importantly, i use it to talk to other family members that are half away across North America. To me technology has helped in so many ways but it has also taken away precious moments when it comes to spending time with family or just being there without having to look down at your phone. I think as we grow older, we start to realize that our cell phones is not just used for talking to friends or checking Facebook but is beneficial to our work. So i honestly think the older we get we appreciate it but when we are teens, we misuse technology for the wrong reasons.

  13. Jiani Z

    I think whether using too much smartphone in individuals life is a problem depends on what smartphones are used to. For some people, they use their smartphones to check and reply emails frequently for studying or working purpose, and they may read news online; do research online via their phones. In this case, smartphones improve their working efficiency and make their life more convenient, so I do not think there is a problem even if they use their phones too much in their life. However, some people especially teenagers use their phones to text their friends frequently, play mobile games, and surfing the Internet for fun. Smartphone disturb them a lot and they cannot focus on their work or studies. Then over-using smartphones is definitely a problem for these people. No matter what, using smartphones too much has many assignable disadvantages. For example, the sleeping time could be reduced; people may lack of concentration because of the smartphone’s over-using, and the health could be affected as well. Although smartphones bring many advantages for people, and change the way how people used to live, people should use them appropriately and avoid being addicted to them.

  14. Jackson Tiefenbach

    While I think it’s inarguable (certainly not by anyone I’ve seen comment on this article so far) that the encroaching of technology on our everyday lives may be becoming a problem, the problem is not simply a personal, individual one. It’s not individual decisions that have resulted in this “overuse” of technology, but a larger social and technological change that doesn’t really give individuals the option of being “disconnected” in a way that individuals might find freeing. I find the idea of “technological addiction” a little bit funny though, as much of human history and technological process has been rooted in a growing dependency on technology. Would we accuse the majority of Americans to be “addicted to cars”, since their cities are set up in a way where driving is necessary to get around? That’s not even to talk about Holland Haiis “teens should be going to the movies and getting burgers with friends”* comment, which is almost hilariously dated. None of this is to say that technology overuse is not, or will not become a problem in the future, simply that we should avoid any sort of hysteria about the issue now.

    *So Holland, cookie-cutter hollywood movies and junk food are ok but cell phones are a problem? funny that you’re supportive of the vices you enjoyed as a kid, but not these new ones.

  15. Yichao Jing

    I feel there is a problem with too much use of smartphones in an individual’s life, not only in the teenagers but also in the parents. With the development of the technology of the daily life, more and more people get used of smartphone in their life, even a baby can use iPad to play games. Personally, I think smartphones is not good for people who cannot control themselves very well because they can play their smartphones when they are studying or working, which influence their efficiency. Students who have smartphones may play their phones on the classes without learning, employees may play their phones without working efficiency. Therefore, many schools forbid students take their smartphones to schools. There is another seriously problems with using too much smartphones, which is that people also use smartphone when they stay with their friends or family in entertainment time. People always use smartphone to chat with online friends without talking with friends who beside him/her. Therefore, people should not use too much smartphones in an individual’s life, and should care more about the reality life.

  16. Chanelle

    I do believe there is an issue with technology addition. I will admit that checking my phone is the first thing i do in the morning and the last thing i do at night. However, who can really blame us? Its not just teens, its everyone. Phones, email, internet, social media is everywhere, and is not just for entertainment and leisure anymore. It is involved in work and school, making leaving you phone at home a nightmare come true. What if my boss texts me, what if we get an email for school? Everything i do is on my phone, my schedule, textbooks, work schedule, etc. So when you think about it, society has made it almost impossible to not be indulged in technology, phones, and internet all day. I do agree that during times of a day you just have to turn your phone off and live with out it. Before we know it we won’t even be able to talk to each other without the intermediary of a phone or device creating a non social world. No devices in elementary and high schools to train kids to live without their devices may help the next generation be less dependent in the future.

  17. Mitch

    Yes I do believe there is such a thing as an issue with too much use of a smartphone in people’s lives. There are no doubt much worse problems to have than to just have a problem with being on your phone too much but it is a problem for some people. For the younger generations growing up they miss out on developing some “people skills” by being to dependant on technology and their phone. Something just as simple as feeling comfortable having face-to-face conversations with other people that you don’t regularly speak too can be hindered by using technology for everything like online shopping opposed to going into a store and being helped by an employee. This translates into real life, such as doing a job interview face-to-face and not feeling comfortable speaking with a stranger. There are many other issues with constant smartphone use, I don’t think anybody would deny that somebody’s relationship with their family members wouldn’t be as strong if they are always glued to their phone as opposed to paying attention to each other and simply talking to each other more often. In this article alone it highlights a grown women’s anxiety and stress associated with not wanting to miss out on any messages she’s received on social media, stress and anxiety isn’t healthy so why would that be a problem somebody wants to have? Smartphone’s aren’t all bad, obviously they are useful in many ways but overuse is a thing and a problem.

  18. Hunter Ascroft

    With such useful innovations it isn’t surprising that people will want to use it and even get “addicted”. A smartphone has a multitude of real world applications. If you compare the invention of the smart phone to the invention of the lightbulb it puts it more into perspective. Since the invention of the lightbulb everyone uses them all the time. It effects the way we live our lives essentially but no one will ever criticize you for being addicted to using lights.
    It is in my opinion that if the technology is there you should utilize it. A smartphone helps you to better budget time and energy. Rather than spending your time memorizing useless facts you can use your smart phone to look up anything you want. You no longer need to do long division by hand, or be knowledgable on the most direct route to Vancouver. It also helps keep you connected to friends and family. I’m not sure when it was decided that communicating through a phone became taboo but it is a easier way to complete certain tasks.
    Also on another note whats so great about going outside anyways? The sun can give you skin cancer, its dangerous, its dirty, you could die. Honestly it is very overrated.

  19. Sadie R

    I think it is all dependant on individual life styles. Many people rely on their for business and work purposes and many people also choose to spend their time on countless hours of surfing social media. I think when it comes to pointless hours spent using a cellphone is unnecessary among young people. Nowadays many young people are in school with goals and priorities, there is no reason to spend useful daytime hours sitting around surfing the internet and social media. Social media has also corrupted the younger individuals in high school and junior highs to pursing personal image that is far to old for their maturity and actual age. It unhealthy for the body and brain to be always on a cellular device. Being active is a much better form of entertainment than being stuck on a social device. Soon enough individuals, young students and business people, will undermine the importance of personal interaction if all they rely on is devices. Interpersonal skills are very important in the work place and in life situations general. A person gains thier most important and useful interpersonal skills at a young age when developing personality traits. With the increased use of cellular devices, these skills and traits in young individuals will has a lesser presence and leading to underdevelopment of proper communication and interactive life skills.

  20. Bryce V

    I think certainly there is a lot of merit in suggesting that smartphones are a serious problem in peoples life. But I also think in someways our society is moving towards where if you don’t have a smart phone, in many ways you are ways behind current trends. Everyone wants information quickly, and answers quickly and smartphones deliver that. For the most part I don’t have a problem with that, but my problem more so lies in how smartphones are seriously decreasing our ability to deliver good face to face interactions. The increased sense of community that smartphones and technology bring is great, but the flip side is people face to face social skill are lacking. Go to a blog or a twitter post, and there is twenty key board warriors underneath a comment that people would never in a million years say to someones face. So like anything I believe smartphones are not a problem when they are used in moderation, but also agree that the reliance on these devices is starting to be short of a social epidemic.

  21. Cecile

    There is certainly a big problem in the use of smartphones among teens and adults. With the rapid growth of technology and the convenience that smartphones offer to us, we are becoming more and more relying in these devices in our daily life. Not only in social networking aspect, but it also gives us a easier and quicker way to finish our work. It also has lots and lots of function and apps that work as a personal assistant of each individual who owns a smartphone. The newest function, the top quality of certain apps has attract more customers becoming more engage to our phone then to actually communicate with each other face to face. Smartphones also give teenagers a lot of distraction from regular work and is directly affect their life. I do believe that the invention of smartphones could bring us a easier life with moderate use and not addicted to this device.

  22. Nisali

    I think that there is a a problem with how much smart phone use is happening in day to day life but I also think that there are other factors that could help change that. These days, kids don’t spend as much time playing outside or engaging in extracurricular activities. They are given devices since birth and people wonder why they are addicted to them. Even in class, with the learning environment, they are encourages to use their smart phones for class use (i.e. a trivia quiz with the phone as the answering machine). I think decent effort by the parents to not resort to handing their child a device to keep them entertained and to enroll them in outside activities could really help change the addictive behavior that children and adults alike are facing.

  23. Amy Giesbrecht

    The internet has become a medium to do just about everything. Work can be done partially or completely online, banking, news, shopping, research, assignments, textbooks and socializing or keeping in touch with friends or family is also done online. With all of these outlets at your fingertips 24 hours a day makes it easy to become addicted to smartphones and digital devices, especially when wifi is being made available pretty much everywhere we go on a daily basis. Being Gen Y myself I remember before the internet exploded and my young life consisted of going outside, watching tv, doing my research for homework at the library from a book and going on my family computer for one hour per week to play a game or “surf” the web. During previous generations, technology developed slower and new products and information was not made available as quickly. This generation is constantly bombarded with new technology on a regular basis, new iphone models, ipads, apple watches etc that let them take their social media everywhere with them and technological applications are constantly changing and being created to do everything, snapchat, instagram, facebook, skype, pinterest just to name a few. I do think that individuals spend too much time online and on their phone. I will admit that I have become addicted to my phone and digital media. As I write this on my laptop, Iam also streaming a video in the background and I have my phone right next to me answering messages on facebook. I think that with the increase in technology, individuals also have increased resposibilities on a daily basis so without the use of the internet and smartphones it would be difficult to get everything done especially if you rely on the internet for work or school.

  24. Evan

    1240 interviews is such a small sample size regarding teens & technology, hardly enough people to give merit to this article.

    internet addiction is not a surprise to me, you are after all talking about logging into
    a network that holds all of the knowledge of humans have generated, you can learn so much and do so much online. There are vast amounts of data and learning available but that is not the part of online addiction that gets captured by the news because that’s not where the teens spend their time online on. If the teens that are at risk for online addiction where spending
    their time learning this would not be an issue but since the teens do spend their time on
    social media or other time killing applications it is the issue. Smartphones & social media allow for anyone’s ego to be inflated and constantly stimulated, teens are just the group to fill this niche of use and addiction. There are adults addicted to but not a large group in comparison (not including those addicted due to work).

    Much like Mathew said, it depends on the person and the role the phone plays in the person’s life, if it is to be constantly engaged with others then every second there is a notification, but if its just a information medium & communication device then perhaps there is less addictive behaviour (unless rapid communication is part of your job). Internet allows for instant gratification and just like rats in a lab we will keep pressing the dopamine stimulus button.

  25. Matthew Sentes

    It completely depends on the individual. Every person uses their smart phone a different amount and for a different reason. There are definitely some people who you could say are addicted to their phone and that they need to be with it and using it non stop. There are other people though that have one but do not use it that much. It also depends on the situation for how much a person is on their phone. If they are on a 12 hour bus ride for example someone could be on their phone almost the entire time to pass the time, but once they get there and are with friends they won`t touch their phone until they go to sleep to set an alarm and plug it in. I have seen some people that are getting texts and snapchats from numerous different people every 10 seconds or so for hours on end. Then there are other people who will only play games on their phone when they are in the bathroom. It depends on the person and how socially active they want to be in each situation they face everyday. I do believe that it is good to be with people that make you forget you even have a phone because you just want to talk or do other social activities with them the entire time. Sports are a great way to try to break that addiction too because if you have practice 3 days a week for 2 hours practice for example, that is at least 6 hours that you will not be on your phone and usually in that 6 hours you will be so involved in the practice that you will forget that you have a phone completely. It is also a great way to get social interaction with real people and make new friends and communicate face to face.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s