YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – According to a new study conducted by Common Sense Media, 50 percent of teens say they are digitally addicted to their mobile devices.
But how many teens are truly addicted to their devices and the Internet? According to the study, whether it is an addiction or not, two-thirds of parents feel their teens spend too much time on their mobile devices, and 52 percent of teens agree.
“You walk anywhere, someone is on their phone. They’re either calling or texting, tweeting, on Instagram or Facebook. Anything. They are always talking to someone except for the people they are walking with,” said Mick Lesitsky of Youngstown, Ohio.
The poll also said that nearly 80 percent of teens check their phones hourly. While 72 percent feel the need to respond immediately.
“Nine times out of 10, walking into schools, traffic, anything, someone is always on their phone. It’s not even just teenagers. I’d even say adults, or younger children. Someone who has any type of social media, cell phone, android, tablet, it’s always in their hands,” said Jason Sop of Youngstown.
Parents might complain about the amount of time their teens spend on their phones, but they admit they have their own difficulties when it comes to unplugging.
“I think there’s a real limiting on the amount of expression that people have now, because they are so used to looking on their cell phones and such,” said Carol Ostheimer of Youngstown
While internet addiction is viewed as a public health threat in other parts of the world, it’s not recognized as a disorder in the U.S. Physicians say more studies need to be done to determine how real digital addiction can be.
Now, it’s not all bad news, according to the study, close to 40 percent of teens actually do try to cut down on the amount of time they spend on their mobile devices.