Poll: 50% Of Teens Feel Addicted To Their Cell Phones

BOSTON (CBS) – About 50 percent of teens feel addicted to their cell phones, according to a new poll of 1,240 parents and children by Common Sense Media.

The poll found that nearly 80 percent of teens check their phones hourly, 72 percent feel the need to respond to messages right away, and more than a third of parents say cell phones lead to arguments with their child.

Kids ages 8 to 12 reported viewing media 6 hours a day, while kids ages 13 to 18 reported viewing it 9 hours a day.

“This tool which connects us in a lower risk environment also can keep us from connecting in really meaningful and deep ways,” Director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Center on Media and Child Health, Dr. Michael Rich said.

Rich says it may not be the same thing as addiction, but teens who are glued to their phones can be negatively impacted. For example, they may struggle to form relationships or remember their school work.

“The first problem I see is that kids are not getting enough sleep because they’re texting into the wee hours,” Rich said.

The poll also found that 69 percent of parents admit to looking at their phone every hour. Fifty-six percent admitted to doing it while they drive.

Rich says parents should set good examples for their kids by establishing clear rules about their phones.

“Have a time when your kid turns it off and charges it in your room, or the kitchen, or someplace where they can’t get to it,” Rich said.

Dr. Rich answers questions regarding the media’s impact on children on his online blog, “Ask the Mediatrician.”

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