92% of teens go online every day and constant use can quickly become addiction. But don't worry, there are ways to help.

Addiction is real and should be taken very seriously. We all know this and as responsible, involved parents, we’ve likely had discussions with our teens regarding addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

But how many of us have had the conversations with our teens about addiction to technology? 

How many of us, as parents, struggle with a similar addiction?

The more time teens spend connecting with their screens, the less time they’re connecting with real-life relationships.

Signs of Technology Addiction

Some signs of tech addiction include: 

  • Excessive use
  • Emotional or physical difficulty being away from their devices
  • Relationship problems because of an overabundance of use

Approximately 36% of families with teens report daily arguing over screen time. The more time teens spend connecting with their screens, the less time they’re connecting with real life relationships, deepening their communication and empathy. 

And, according to a recent study, 50% of teens feel addicted to their devices.

4 Steps to Overcoming Tech Addiction

Technology is an ever-present, and often useful, part of your teen’s life, and ultimately, it's unrealistic to expect them to completely eliminate their tech use.

So, the question remains: how do you help your teen strike a healthier balance?

  1. Set an Example
    If you’re telling your teen you’re concerned by the amount of time they spend online, then try putting yours down more too. Increased awareness of screen time, in general, will be beneficial for the family dynamics.
     
  2. Engage Your Teen in Conversation
    Attempt to combat the effects of overexposure to technology by engaging them in thoughtful conversation. Ask what they’re reading online or listening to and translate it to a real-life interaction.
     
  3. Establish Boundaries
    Remember, your teen is still developing and setting limits for themselves may be something they struggle with. Establish “no technology zones” in the house (i.e., dinner time, between the hours of 4-6 pm, an hour before bed, etc.)
     
  4. Educate
    Help your teen understand the risks and potential harm that overexposure to technology can have. Our environment influences our development and if our teen's environment is primarily technology driven, this begs the question of what impact that could be having, both cognitively and socially.


Learn more about kids' online habits by reading The Power of Likes in Social Media.


About Annemarie Lange

Annemarie Lange is a licensed professional counselor in the Philadelphia area that utilizes mindfulness and meditation to help her clients deal with a variety of challenges.

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