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.
Yes. There is an over reliance on technology and it’s sad to see. It’s everywhere and not just with teenagers. My morning commute is full of people head down on their handsets or tablets.
There’s an app that I’m using myself to track my screen time on my phone, just for interest and my partner and I have made it a bit of a competition but it has features where you can limit the time spent such as app blocks set up by parents. I can imagine implementing these blocks may be problematic at first and there may be some arguments about doing it but I reckon with time she will get into the habit of not needing to check her phone so much? The app is called moment
Phones, especially social media apps, are addicting.
I find myself addicted to social media at times. It’s the constant urge to feel you need to check it.
As you mentioned, I believe the social media apps are designed for addiction… similar to slot machines. You refresh like a new pull on the slot machines. Maybe you will get some “good news feed”. Will I get more likes or a comment? We get a small shot of dopamine in the brain which make us feel good about getting a like or seeing some juicy news.
I can’t relate as much but I can see how teenager’s who are constantly looking for validation can feel the anxiety of “being out of the loop”. The ability to constantly be in contact with friends and information can be more of a curse than a blessing.
I have to disagree with phone manufacturers and social media companies being responsible for governing the amount of time kids can use the devices or apps.
Parents and children need to be accountable for their own actions.
Parents need to inform their children of the negative effects social media and smart phones can have. Even not allow the phone or with set parental limitations. I’m not a big fan of parents relying on companies or government to dictate how to raise their children.
Parents raising and instilling in their children the values they see fit will have much better long term effects than a monitoring app… where there’s a will, there’s a way.