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Experts: 50% of teens admit they are addicted to mobile devices

Posted at 6:02 AM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 06:52:45-05

Teens and technology go hand-in-hand nowadays, but experts say, in general the inability to unplug, is not just a "teen" problem anymore, it’s a family issue - a social issue.

50% of teens told Common Sense Media they are addicted to their mobile devices, meaning - whether it’s texting, posting on social media, playing games, talking on the phone, their need to stay connected to tech devices is arguable stronger than ever before.

Parents,keep in ming however, if there’s one thing you need to know about technology addiction it’s this: kids aren’t entirely to blame. 

Experts proposed this analogy to put the idea of tech addiction into perspective.

Much like sugar, that irresistible ingredient in your favorite candy that pulls you to buy two candy bars instead of one; mobile devices are engineered to get you hooked so you come back for more…and more…and more.

Updates, improvements, newer versions of old devices, these aren’t just coincidence. Some argue they're directly related to what's keeping you, and your family, glued to the screen - 24/7.

So, parent or child, when it comes to regulating and resisting temptation - from Netflix to Snapchat, to in-app purchases, and more - what do you do?

Depending on the device, the app, game, etc. the most important thing is to be aware of your options, experts say.

For instance: turning off Autoplay (which is typically set on by default), turning off notifications and pings, limiting games or apps like Snapchat that encourage streaks of consecutive connectivity, and being smart when it comes to in-app purchases - these are logical places to start. 

In a Digital Era, powering down is tough, but that doesn't mean setting boundaries is a lost cause. 

Resisting temptation to stay constantly connected is doable and while it may not be today’s norm, it's necessary to improve and protect the overall well-being of youth and enhance family time. 

Remember, with teens, always a good place to start. Don't go full throttle at first, ease into the transition.