— Half of teens and over one-quarter of parents feel they’re addicted to their mobile devices.
— At least a few times a week, more than three-quarters of parents and 41 percent of teens feel the other gets distracted by a device and doesn’t pay attention when they’re trying to talk.
— Seventy-two percent of teens and 48 percent of parents feel the need to immediately respond to texts, social-networking messages, and other notifications.
— Despite conflicts, most parents feel their teens’ use of mobile devices has made no difference or has even helped their relationship.
AND FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT:
— Internet addiction is potentially serious. There is no agreement on whether it’s a true addiction, how to measure it, or whether it’s something that is highly related to or even caused by another disorder, such as depression or ADHD. However, “Internet gaming disorder,” which involves excessive online gaming, may be included by the American Psychiatric Association in the next version of the DSM (the resource used to diagnose mental and psychiatric disorders).
— Multitasking may be harming our ability to stay focused. And “multitasking” is actually a misnomer; we may think we’re doing multiple things simultaneously, but we’re actually rapidly shifting our attention between individual tasks. Research shows that multitasking can hurt your ability to get things done, slow you down, and make it harder to remember things that happened while you were multitasking.
— Media and technology use is a source of friction for many families. Many children feel their parents check their devices too often, and a large number of parents struggle with limiting their children’s use of media and technology.
While there are no easy answers, we do know parents can have a huge impact on how kids use media. The challenge is figuring out how to get the most from technology without letting it get out of control. By taking a balanced approach to media and technology — setting screen limits, establishing device-free zones, and reducing multitasking — you can help your whole family develop healthy media habits.
Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.