Teen Cell Phone Addiction
More and more teens are becoming addicted to smart phones at the expense of real relationships and success in other areas of their lives. Many parents are asking how to deal with teens and cell phone addictions. At Family Bootcamp, we believe that teens must be taught to use technology responsibly and avoid developing addictions to technology. Too often today’s teens use technology and the interent to avoid dealing with life’s problems. While the definition of a cell phone addiction can be debated, a simple definition of addiction is something that interferes with you living your life. Some examples include the following :
Inability to succeed at school or keep a job because of the addiction.
Harmed or lost relationships as a result of lying and deceiving others to justify the chosen addiction.
Positive growth such as staying physically fit, making healthy relationships, and progressing in life are all made secondary to the habit.
According to a recent study, 60 percent of teens would feel anxious if they didn't have their phone and would rather live without Facebook, chocolate, and TV than without their phone. To ensure cell phones don’t become an addiction, Family Bootcamp offers some advice on things that teens and parents can do to prevent cell phone addictions:
Respect Conversations With Others: Texting smart phone use shouldn't come between real human contact, thus being distracted by a smart phone can harm relationships.
Never use the phone in the car, especially while driving whether texting or talking: This is a given, but distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths on the roadway. If your teen learns not to use the phone in the car, a lot of tragedy can be avoided.
Learn To Recognize Bad Habits: One reason teens turn to smart phones is boredom, causing this behavior to become a habit. Teens must learn other ways of dealing with boredom beyond turning to technology. Realizing this can help your teen resist checking their phone out of habit.
Use a box to Enforce No-Phone Family Time: One effective way is to get a box and have everyone place their deactivated devices inside it during family time (meal times, relative visits, study time, family nights etc.). Not only will this help to teach your teens about phone etiquette, but it will also allow you to set an example by abstaining from your own phone usage. Many of us as adults are addicted to cell phones as well.
Set Alerts to Monitor Phone Usage: These days, most phone carriers will allow you to monitor text, phone time, and data usage for all the phones attached to your account via mobile apps and text / email alerts. You should take advantage of all this data and keep an eye on your teen’s usage. Use it as a baseline to establish ground rules, and talk to them if their usage seems excessive.
Consider Pre-Paid Phones instead of complete loss of phone privileges: For chronic offenders of this, you could consider using a pre-paid plan instead of instituting outright phone prohibition. That way your teen still gets the opportunity to exercise discipline and learn to ration their phone usage. And if they fail to do this, the phone will become a useless brick until you choose to add more time and data. Thus, a logical set of consequences will result from their overusing the phone.
These and other useful ideas are offered to parents and teens during the Family Bootcamp experience.