Phone Usage of Teens

Lara Bradford, Author

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Many parents believe their teens are too attached to their phones, maybe even addicted. According to the study from ABC News, 60% of teens between the ages of 13 to 17 are saying that they spend a lot of time online is a “major” problem facing their age group, with about nine in 10 teens dubbing it a challenge. More than half of teens, about 54%, said they spend too much time on their cellphones, and 41% say they overdo it on social media. From a study, most teens from the age of 13-17 spend nine hours on the internet a day. Most kids from the age of 8-12 spend about 6 hours on the internet, and most kids from the age of 0-7 are on the internet for 50 minutes a day. 

Robert Lustig is a professor of pediatrics. He focused on endocrinology at the University of Southern California, and the author of The Hacking of the American Mind said at a conference in February that kids are addicted. “It’s not a drug, but it might as well be. It works the same wait has the same results,” he said. Recently, some major tech companies, including Google and Apple, have said they would introduce features to help parents and kids monitor and manage their time online.

 Apple has made something called Screentime, where parents can restrict the amount of time a kid can use on their phones and what time their phones turn off at night. Lots of kids have it, but a lot don’t too. The average screentime restriction for time for 8-17-year-olds is around 2 hours. Recently a study on phones and how they affect 14-17-year-olds said that up to 6 hours wouldn’t harm a teen if they are doing well in school, socially, and are keeping up with activities like sports. The lead author, Christopher J Ferguson is from the department of psychology at Stetson University in Florida, says that the AAP recommendation, which has now been lifted for over five-year-olds, was primarily plucked from the air. “Based on this study, as well as another large study by Andrew Przybylski at Oxford, it looks like anything up to about six hours a day is pretty normal, and not associated with even minor negative outcomes,” says Ferguson. “Screens are now pretty much woven into our lives. 

When you ask students around Westminster Middle School, most of them have Screentime, and a large amount also don’t have Screentime. Most of the students have average Screentime of 1 hour and 30 min to 4 hours on school days. On weekends students usually get 3-5 hours. Most students get their phones shut off or taken away at an average of 9:00 to 11:00. Students believe that they think that if they had more time on their phone and as long as they were not addicted, they would still be doing fine in school. Students believe that ever since they got Screentime, their grades have not gone up or changed much.

In conclusion, most adults believe that kids are on their phones way too often, but other studies say differently. Most kids do spend a lot of time on their phones when they could have better things to do, but a lot of kids also only get about 2 hours a day. Kids in the Middle school at Westminster believe that they could have more time on their phones and keep up good grades. It seems like this could be a conversation with parents about balancing Screentime that will work with their kids and make sure they get work done, stay athletic, and still be social with more time.