Is Teen Addiction to Screens a Serious Issue? Most Behavioral and Addiction Experts Say Yes!
FACT: Today's American children are spending too much time on their screens.
While the aforementioned fact may be a foregone conclusion to most parents of teens, most moms and dads may not realize the severity of this behavioral issue.
Whether it be a TV, smartphone, or electronic pad, new studies show that our nation's youth spend roughly nine hours a day in front of some form of screen.
Behavioral experts claim that, due to this overexposure and reliance to electronic devices, teens are particularly susceptible to health and behavioral consequences - not to mention the obvious threat of becoming exposed to adult tv-programs, movies, negative lyrical content in music, and pornographic internet content.
The same experts also say too much exposure to these electric-medias are at least partly to blame for American adolescent's rise in exhibiting negative behavioral influences such as aggression, premature promiscuity, anxiety, depression, obesity, drug use, and sleep disorders.
As to why screen time is affecting the behavior of adolescents, behavior-specialists say it could be largely thanks to the modern convenience of today's internet surfing.
Far removed from the days of noisy, slow, and wired internet modems of the past, smartphones provide our nation's youth with the unprecedented ability to carry the internet, and its endless connections to the outside world, with them wherever they might choose to take it.
Additionally, smartphones allow teens to communicate with strangers just as easily as they can their friends and family - a technological form of communication that is quickly replacing all forms of face-to-face or even phone-to-ear contact with other humans.
In short, due to its endless applications and forms of entertainment, screens can easily become an all-consuming addiction that most adolescents find hard in using with any sense of moderation.
What’s more, by continuously spending 9 hours a day on the web, it's only a matter of time before an adolescent is affected by the imminent threat of harmful web pages, images, videos, culture, and/or strangers.
This article was created to inform parents of the full importance of their responsibility to monitor their child's online usage. By establishing fair and appropriate boundaries for their child's online usage, a parent is able to further eliminate negative repercussions that are likely to arise from their child being overexposed to the internet.
Tips for Parents of Teens Who Spend Too Much Time Online
PsychologyToday.com recently wrote an article for parents of teens who are overexposed to the internet. In the article, they list the possible consequences of online over-exposure, as well as parenting tips on how to avoid them.
Glued to screens on cellphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs, average American kids now use electronic media about 9 hours a day. Exposure to unhealthy TV, movies, music, and Internet content during childhood is linked to much detrimental health and behavioral consequences such as aggression, sexualization, anxiety, depression, obesity, drug use, and sleep disorders.
Smartphones allow kids to carry the Internet with them and make it possible to see and hear almost anything, anytime, and from anyone, including images, videos, TV shows, music, and movies. Smartphones also permit 24/7 communications with peers and strangers. And isn’t it frustrating when kids won’t engage in conversation or look up from their phones when you’re trying to talk to them?
Family First Adolescent Services: a Residential Treatment Center that Specializes in Treating Online Addiction in Teens
When it comes to treating contemporary behavioral issues that are unique to today's techno-obsessed teens, Family First is on the cutting-edge. And, while 'screen addiction' is not yet recognized under the clinical disorder the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the DSM-V, (the bible of mental and behavioral illness diagnoses), internet or gaming disorder - the first recognized disorder to be associated with screen addiction - was added by the World Health Organization (WHO), classified gaming disorder in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
Family First: One of the Country's First Treatment Centers for Teens to Provide Rehabilitation for Screen Addiction
Even before it was recognized by the mental health and disorder organization in 2018, however, internet gaming disorder was being successfully treated at Family First Adolescent Services. As one of the first residential centers to do so, we at Family First have had a jump start in treating technological-related illnesses.
At Family First Adolescent Services, we are dedicated to treating the underlying issues that present themselves in our clients’ behavior before coming to treatment. We believe that the behaviors themselves, whether it is substance use, problematic gaming, gambling, defiance, anger issues, or risk-taking behaviors are symptoms of a deeper problem.
Don't Take Our Word for It. Just ask Dr. Phil!
As Seen on Dr. Phil
In September of 2018, Family First Adolescent Services President and Founder James McManus was a guest on the Dr. Phil Show. James was there to help a family whose teenage son was suffering from a new type of issue: problematic gaming. Watch as James and Dr. Phil present a path focusing on love and treatment of underlying issues to an addicted boy and his parents.