Phone Addiction Is Not Just My Fault

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Before you read, I’m sorry if I offend any of the adults reading this.

I think you would be lying if you said you haven’t talked about the big ‘screen problem’ that’s going on with my generation. I’m Gen Z, 13 years-old and proud of it.

We are on our phones way too much and it’s getting out of hand.

I now realize how large this issue has become. But it is not fair to blame just my generation for this problem. In my opinion, the parents and teachers of these teens can be responsible for a large portion of why a lot of us are addicted. I’m pretty tired of hearing all of this talk from my parents and teachers about me and my peers being attached to our phones. But if there were boundaries set in the first place at home and at school by the adults, we wouldn’t be in this big of a problem. I can guarantee that far less of us would be addicted if there were rules set from the beginning.

Over half of the people in my generation are addicted to their phones. But it isn’t necessarily our fault. When these new inventions were created, our parents didn’t set limits, not thinking about how addictive the devices could become. Scientists are now saying that people addicted to their phones show the same symptoms as people addicted to drugs. “Just as some drug users become so hooked that it puts a strain on their personal, social, and professional lives, the same can happen for true ‘smartphone addicts.’ They can find themselves ignoring work, children, and other responsibilities just to check their Facebook feed one more time, or to play that extra bit of Clash of Clans.”

If there are laws for addictive things such as drugs or alcohol, how come there isn’t a law regarding something just as addictive, taking over the lives of kids, some who haven’t even hit puberty.

Kids are getting mobile phones at such young ages now. 12, 11 or even 10-year old children are receiving their first phone. And after a few months these “tweens” become addicted.

But it’s not only their fault, it’s their parents.

Parents wait too long to set boundaries, long enough for their children to become attached to their phones as a crutch. If there was a thirty minute limit on screens on the day a child received their phone, it wouldn’t be World War III when a parent decided to take it away for bad behaviour.

It’s the same at school. Teachers at my school are talking about banning phones at our school, and a lot of kids are against it. If there were rules or time limits from the day phones were permitted to be used at school, there wouldn’t be an enormous argument between the students and staff about what to do. The students wouldn’t have ever been given a chance to experience the other choice of having phones used with limited restrictions.

You can call each and every one of us addicted.

I’ll admit I can be addicted to my phone, but it’s because we never had strong enough boundaries at home or at school. I’ve forever lived in an environment where sitting on my phone was okay until pretty much this year, making it a lot harder to end my addiction. It would’ve been  easier if my attachment to my phone never started.

If you are considering getting your child a phone, I strongly suggest it. Just be sure to have very strong limits and rules about it and don’t let your kids convince you out of them. Talk to the teachers or administrators of your child’s school to make sure rules are being enforced.

As for me…my recent digital detox has really shown me how much can be done in the time I might be endlessly scrolling through useless social media.

It has really opened my eyes how much I am actually on my phone. I encourage to do a digital detox, even the parents! 😉

 

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5 thoughts on “Phone Addiction Is Not Just My Fault

  1. Dear Claire

    You’ve caught me! It is 6:10 am and I am in meetings in St. Petersburg, Florida and here I am checking my iPhone and my laptop! Your never cease to amaze me with your insights, your truthfulness and your ability to , “Call it like it is.” Perhaps I can be forgiven today because I am going to watch the sunrise at 6: 50. Of course, I will bring my iPhone to capture the experience in a photo! As for my digital detox, it will have to be , “Starting on Monday!”. Once again, thanks you for sharing another important discovery with reflective message intact. Love, Frances

  2. Technology caught everyone, young and old, by surprise. The iPhone is fun, convenient, has all these apps, provides fast texting options, and the list goes on and on. Of course, we humans fell victim to the novelty of it all and slowly but surely became addicted to our phones. A very sad situation indeed! You are right, my sweet Claire, when you say that rules need to be set from the get-go and detox, sadly, is indeed a must for many of us. Thanks for alerting us to a very real problem that many of us would like to dismiss. As always, you tell it like it is!

  3. Hi Claire Thank you for your stimulating post. I agree with some of your points, especially about boundaries. I don’t think there is any place for the use of phones in school lessons. Most schools in the UK have banned them as irrelevant and an unnecessary distraction. In opposition to what you say, there aren’t any laws (in the UK) to prevent anyone of any age damaging themselves with alcohol, class A and B drugs, gambling etc and why should there be? We are all free to pursue these behaviours which are damaging to ourselves and others – sometimes self preservation, support organisations and common sense kick in before it’s too late. I wouldn’t like to live in a country where rules like that exist and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. I also doubt that, realistically, many parents can have much control of their child’s use of such a peer-pressured device as a phone. If you’re going to over-use, then you will. Perhaps the eventual realisation that it has created a generation of boring, self obsessed, superficial people who have perhaps never learnt how to create and sustain real relationships and genuine conversations may tip the balance and create the backlash which I hope has started! I agree, we must be in control of this tool rather than the other way round.

  4. Dear Claire: I loved reading your reflection following your digital detox. You raise some very good points here and I agree about needing to set boundaries and expectations early. I believe much of social media has caught us off guard and I particularly worry about the tweens entering this realm. I think we all need to do a better job of disconnecting from our devices and live in the face to face moment. Turning off notifications (which we, your parents, have talked a lot about with you) is something everyone should do. The constant beeps and buzz of the phone is an addictive distraction, so let’s take care of that. Anyway, it’s an important discussion that we all need to have. Love you lots – you always give me lots to think about, Mom. xo

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