We’ve all heard that teens are addicted to their phones, but what does that really mean? Rawhide states that 89% of teens reach for their phones every fifteen minutes, 87% of teens have their phone by their side day and night, and 51% of teens use their phone in the bathroom. If you do any of these three things chances are you are addicted to your phone. If you are addicted to your phone it could be a subconscious thing that you don’t realize you are doing until someone points it out.
Why are we addicted to our phones is the real question because most of us don’t even know. Some people say it is social media and games that distract us. Others say it is the fact that we have so much power to do or find anything we want. But really it’s our addiction to dopamine that makes us addicted to our phones. “Smartphones are essentially the world’s smallest slot machine. It’s very neurologically addicting. …When you get a hit-finding something or hearing from someone-you get an elevation of dopamine, and it compels us to keep checking,” says Dr. David Greenfield, psychologist and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction.
Pew Research center highlights that African American teens have a higher rate of phone usage. A reported 34% of African American teens use their phones almost constantly while only 32% of Hispanic teens and 19% of white teens do. African American and Hispanic teens also have higher nomophobia rates. Nomophobia is the fear of losing your phone or losing cell phone coverage. The reason for these high rates is because of the easy accessibility to phones teens have now. African American teens are the most likely of any group to have a smartphone. 85% of African American have a smartphone compared to the 71% of both Hispanic and white teens.
Statista did a statistic done mid this year that reports Snapchat is the most used form of social media with at least 72% of teens using it this year. Then comes Facebook with 68%, Instagram with 66%, and Twitter with 36%. Our phone addiction is mostly because of our social media distracting us in extreme ways; it starts to become a problem when 450 million snaps are sent out each day .
The addiction to our phones causes some serious health problems such as iposture, or poor posture, and causes people to slouch more often than usual. “Text neck” refers to the hump that develops from looking down at your phone for too long. Cell-phone elbow is caused by bending your elbow for long periods of time and gives early symptoms of arthritis. There are also very serious risky behaviors that are associated with phone addiction like texting and driving. Eleven teens die every day due to texting and driving. That is about 4,015 teens a year, or about four times the size of Terra Linda High School. l. Many parents are setting limits on phones in order to avoid such things. The addiction to our phones is almost uncontrollable. “Computer technologies can be addictive, because they’re ‘psychoactive’. That is, they alter the mood and often trigger enjoyable feelings,” states Dr. Greenfield. He asserts that we’d rather look at a funny video than be sitting at a family reunion with nothing to do.
It is true we are addicted to our phones, but in order to ease that we need to unplug from the phones. For example, we should not take them everywhere we go, and we should give ourselves restrictions on when they are appropriate to use. t. Our worlds do not revolve around our phones; not yet at least.