Technology is a regular part of everyday life–that’s an undeniable fact. Like any new, revolutionary technology, there are downsides. With the wave of technology, internet addiction, video game addiction, cell phone addiction in teens has come, too. Separating regular cell phone use in teens and cell phone addiction in teens can be difficult in this day and age.
In a recent interview on ABC News, a licensed Maryland psychologist and expert in healthy technology use, Ed Spector, spoke about why technology addictions should be taken seriously and how to identify them in teens.
Why technology addictions should be taken seriously
“Their brains change in similar ways to real chemical-addicts. If you talk to the parents of my clients, they come in and they say, ‘My kid’s like a junkie.’ They feel like it’s an addiction.” –Ed Spector, Expert in Healthy Technology Use
When a behavior gets to the point where your teen cannot control whether they do it or not, it has become an addictive behavior. It’s an extreme compulsion to do something, whether it’s harmful to yourself and others or not. This is why cell phone addiction in teens is a real threat.
If your daughter can’t control whether she uses her cell phone–even while driving–that’s life-threatening. Even if technology addictions aren’t fully recognized yet, many predict that it soon will be because of the increase of evidence over the past few years.
Tips to spot and help cell phone addiction in teens
In the ABC interview, Caroline Knorr (parenting editor for Common Sense Media) contributed some warning signs of a cell phone addiction in teens:
- Slipping grades or decreased academic performance
- Highly sensitive
- Strong preoccupation with cell phone
- Extreme anger or agitation if you mention revoking phone “rights”
- Lack of interest in activities usually enjoyed
Knorr recommended ways to help your daughter wean herself off of excessive cell phone use. Create some limits on cell-phone use; this could be anything from cell-free zones (the dinner table, for example) to cell-free times (after 7PM, for example). She does explain that you have to be a good role model, too. You have to practice what you preach, otherwise your daughter won’t take you seriously.
If you truly believe your daughter’s cell phone use has gotten to an unhealthy level, it’s important to contact a professional for further guidance. Cell phone addiction in teens isn’t something to ignore, it’s serious and needs treatment.
Sedona Sky Academy can help
Sedona Sky Academy is a specialized school for teen girls struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other behavioral or emotional issues. Sedona Sky offers a unique combination of strong academics and clinical sophistication to help your child succeed.
For more information about how Sedona Sky handles cell phone addiction in teens, contact us today at 1-855-879-4786!