Your Teen's New Favorite Drug - Their Smartphone

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Your Teen's New Favorite Drug - Their Smartphone

*The following is excerpted from an online article from the Deseret News.

Does your teen wake up exhausted, even when he or she retired to bed at a reasonable hour?

A new study from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research found that about 1 in 5 teens will wake up in the middle of the night to check his or her smartphone for updates or to post statuses, according to The Telegraph. These same students will “almost always” go to school the next day feeling tired, The Telegraph reported.

Similarly, a study from Glasgow University found that teens who wake up in the middle of the night to check their phones are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety issues, according to The Guardian.

The study, which surveyed 460 teens in Scotland about their social media and nighttime phone-use habits, found that teens also checked their smartphones early in the morning, contributing to their tired minds, The Guardian reported.

This isn’t surprising since smartphones may be like a new drug for your child. A recent study from Baylor University found that smartphones, for youngsters and adults, can be as addictive as drugs and alcohol because smartphone users demonstrate behaviors that are similar to those shown by alcohol and drug addicts.

"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," according to Android Authority, a tech news blog. "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.'"

University of Connecticut researcher Nancy Petry noticed this trend back in 2010. She said smartphone users aren’t being medically diagnosed with addictions because of smartphones, but they often demonstrate “what people might call addictive tendencies toward things like smartphones,” according to Fortune.

To help children avoid smartphone addiction, researchers of the Glasgow University study said parents should teach their children how to moderate their social media and smartphone use.

Source: Deseret News