My teenage daughter’s mobile phone addiction
I am genuinely worried about my teenage daughter and her mobile phone addiction. From the moment she wakes to the moment that she sleeps the phone is constantly attached to her.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but there comes a time when you have to put it down and chill.
I’m saying this like it’s only my daughter with this problem. In reality, there is a large percentage of teenagers in the situation.
The phone is noticeably affecting her health, both physically and mentally. We have had a major traumatic event in our family that has possibly amplified the situation.
Despite educating our daughter and showing the facts surrounding constant phone use there doesn’t seem to be any let-up. It’s not entirely the fault of the mobile phone but the social media apps that are on there. They are designed to be addictive and make their users clock in as many times as possible. There is a genuine fear of missing out and this causes anxiety, mood swings, lethargy, and affects sleeping patterns and her personality.
The signs have been coming for a very long time. We used to lock phones away at night in a metal case so that there was a time for rest and less screen time. Now that our daughter is seventeen its time to let her have her own choices and make decisions in a stressful time in between child and adulthood. There doesn’t appear to be enough self-discipline between her or her peers.
Mobile phone manufacturers and social media companies should be held to account, as they should have a duty of care towards our younger population.
This issue is a constant cause of arguments in our house. The main fear for me is that it does seem like a genuine addiction comparable to gambling, drinking and drugs. When there is a short period of time without the phone our daughter is agitated. When that period of time of non-phone time is extended, the effects of the addiction wear off, and she becomes a much nicer person to be around and back to the daughter we know and love.
Despite trying lots of different ways there doesn’t appear to be a simple solution. I really think that the mobile phone manufacturers and social media companies should be held to account as they should have a duty of care towards our younger population. Time-limiters should be easy enough to implement given all the amazing things that they can do at the moment.
Perhaps I’m being over the top on this but I do think that the way teenagers brains are wired encourage them to spend large amounts of time on their devices.
Have you been affected by this? Do you have any useful suggestions for us? Please let us know.
Anthony Jones is the co-founder of Dads Done It, a UK-based parenting blog aimed at sharing relatable experiences throughout different stages of parenting.