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Why Our Phones Are Almost Addictive

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are a parent you know how scary the thought of addiction can be. Most parents do their best to talk with their kids about alcohol and drugs, and to monitor what’s going on in their kids’ lives. Now, there are new contenders for the addiction label with phones ranking right at the top.

HarvardHealth’s Claire McCarthy, MD, took a look at this issue saying, “You could make a real argument that many teens are becoming addicted to their mobile devices.” In fact, this addiction may be showing up for adults, too.

Recent reports from Common Sense Media raise questions.

  • 66 percent of parents feel their teens spend too much time on their phones
  • 50 percent of teens feel they are addicted to their phones
  • 72 percent of teens and 48 percent of parents feel they need to respond quickly to texts
  • 78 percent of teens and 69 percent of parents check phones hourly
  • 50 percent of parents and teens have tried to reduce the time they spend on their phones

These figures are certainly worth considering to see where we stand. Harvard doctors are not using the term “addiction” in discussing technology, but they are raising questions that all of us should think about. We can  ask ourselves how much we use our phones, and what would we be doing if we were not glued to the phone.

There is only so much time in the day, and it is important to see how much of it is being claimed by our phones. It may be time for all of us to rethink when our phones should be used, and when they should be limited.

Harvard Health singles out times when phones should be off.

  • When attention is critical in the midst of work, or in the classroom
  • When we are driving or walking and safety is an issue
  • When we are socializing at parties, at dinner, or over coffee with friends
  • When we are talking one-on-one with family members

Then there are times when phones are OK to be on, but they may be invasive.

If you are a parent of a small child - Does your phone distract you from giving your full attention to your child? Are you missing little clues about your children as they reach out to understand the world?

When everybody is at home in the evening - When you look around, what do you see? Is everybody on their phone? Or could they be playing games, helping each other with projects, or talking about what happened during the day?

Each person and each family is different, but it may be time to set up a few new rules for our phones.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Euless, Tex.

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