Do teens spend too much time on their phones?

June 27, 2009, was when the first iPhone, the iPhone 2g, was released. Since then multiple smartphones, tablets, computers and watches have been released to the public. Now, it is extremely uncommon to find an individual without one of those devices in the U.S.  The average age that a child receives a phone from their parent is ten, and the average age that a child gets any form of technology or access to the internet is eight. Many parents debate those ages, claiming that it is unhealthy for someone to have access to the internet so early in their life. Parents also claim that kids become attached to technology later on in their life, due to their early access to it. 

“Addiction to technology is also known as Internet Addiction Disorder, Compulsive Internet Use, Problematic Internet Use, and iDisorder,” said Jamison Monroe. “According to a growing body of research, technology triggers pathways in the brain in the same direct and intense way that particular substances affect a drug addict’s brain.” 

Teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phone, which is more than one-third of the day spent looking at a screen. According to the 24-Hour Movement guidelines, teens should only get about 2 hours of screen time a day. “They’re spending more time on screens than ever before, which begs the question, how much is too much? Spending an extended amount of time looking at the phone can cause something called “computer vision syndrome”. Computer vision syndrome causes strained, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Long periods of time looking at a screen can also cause a decrease in mental health.

“Studies have shown excessive social media use can lead to feelings of depression and dependency in some people,” said Piedmont Healthcare. 

The effects of spending an extended amount of time on the phone can be severe to teenagers. Parents should be careful with their kid’s phone use and should make sure that their child’s life is not being negatively affected by their internet use. The internet can be dangerous and so can technology even without internet access.