Technology Addiction and Your Teenager {Guest Post}


Technology addiction can be a real problem that parents may need to deal with at some point. We live in an era when every teenager owns a smartphone. Technology has evolved so much that is seems it takes people’s minds sometimes. Teenagers go out, but they are always seen browsing their phones instead of talking to each other.

teen tech addictionWhat’s worse is the fact that almost every teenager falls into this online trap. This virtual prison chains your teenager to a wall and keeps him browsing social media for hours. Also, it gives parents a hard time and they become desperate to take measures.

Teen technology addiction rates when it comes to technology are very high. According to research conducted at the Pew Research Center, around 96% of smartphone-owning teens will go online every single day. Plus, at least 78% of them will check their phones at least every hour. However, there are some ways this addiction can be managed.

Causes of Teen Technology Addiction

Several things can cause a teenager to develop an addiction to technology. Those who are at higher risk are teens who:

  • Don’t get too much support at home or live in a poor environment
  • Have a history of mental health disorders
  • Are shy and lack self-esteem. Teenagers who are this way may find it easier to connect with online people, where they could hide behind a screen and be anonymous.

Technology Addiction Symptoms in Teens

It’s not that difficult to spot an addiction to technology when it comes to teenagers. Here are some symptoms that may help you detect it – and these facts have been pointed out by those who work in the medical/psychiatric field:

  • Your teenager is always glued to the phone. She takes it everywhere, including to the bathroom and wherever she eats.
  • He is ready to sacrifice any relationship and career option in favor of Internet use.
  • You notice that your teen is always checking for notifications or messages on social media.
  • If away from technology for too long, the teenager experiences withdrawal symptoms.
  • She uses technology or the Internet whenever he deals with negative emotions.
  • becomes tolerant to the addiction and needs to offer it more time to satisfy his cravings.

How to Help a Teenager Who Suffers from Technology Addictions

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you have the power to limit their Internet time and control their addiction. Keep in mind – they are not going to like it and may oppose it. However, it’s essential for their mind and growth, and they will come to appreciate it later in life. Here are some ways to help your teenager with the addiction and make them see that real life matters more.

  1.   Parental control

Parental controls are a real blessing when you have children who spend more time online than going out with their friends. It lets you control your child’s Internet use and prevent him from browsing unsuitable content. It’s a great way to help your teenager because you don’t actually take their Internet away and lock them in a dungeon. You allow them to use it, but with some limits. Lowering their Internet use is going to make them get used to less Internet time and focus on other things.

  1.    Talk It Out

It’s important to have a strong bond with your kids and make them understand that Internet addiction is not good for them. Communication is the key. Help them understand why parental control is going to be a good way to ensure their safety. Let them know that you’re not their enemy, but their best friend. They should be aware that you won’t forbid them to use the Internet – you will just limit it.

  1.    Find Better Activities

Maybe your teenager spends so much time online because he has nothing else to do. It’s either that he doesn’t have too much time, or that you don’t provide him with the attention he needs.

If that’s the case, try to find some fun activities that you can do to stop them from always scrolling on Facebook. For instance, you could take them on various trips, or encourage them to find a hobby. A hobby like singing, painting or playing an instrument will give them something to do and will take their mind off the phone.

  1.    Don’t Bash Them

Try a nice approach that will not give them the impression that you are only yelling at them without considering their feelings. If all you do is criticize them, they will act against your wishes and find ways to do it their way.

Teenagers can be really stubborn, so a bad approach will push them to prove to you that you can’t control their life.

  1.    Meditation

There are meditation exercise treatments for technology addiction that can make your teenager better. Mindfulness is a technique that stimulates parts of someone’s brain to help them tolerate cravings.

So, meditation can be a great way to make someone not act out based on their thoughts. Self-control is very important, after all. Practicing this can help your teen control his addiction and stop being hungry for social media likes.

  1.     Limit their Data

If you give your teenager unlimited mobile data on their phone, they will constantly stick their eyes onto the screen. Once they see that the data will run out fast if used in a thoughtless manner, they won’t use it as much anymore – and with time, the “reflex” will pass.

  1.   Make a Schedule

Establish a certain period during which your teenager is not allowed to use the phone. For instance, set the rule that they can only use their phone after their homework or daily tasks are over. Not only will this limit their phone use, but it will also make them more disciplined.

  1.   Take away Their Phone

Not completely; just for a week. Or at least delete their applications – or password-protect them. They will hate you for it at first and will try to log in from various other devices. Eventually and hopefully, they will realize that living outside the screen is not so bad and that they could live in the present without constantly checking on social media.  

It’s hard sometimes for teens to control themselves and not check their social media messages every few minutes. Moreover, they don’t always have the ability to differentiate right from wrong. That is where you come in.

Your teenager can manage technology with the right strategy and your help!

About Guest Writer Emily Thompson

Emily is a Cyber Safety Consultant with KidGuard. She is passionate about child and teen online safety, a firm believer in building a loving and trusting relationship between parent and child, and using an open dialogue, education, and monitoring measures (when and if necessary) to keep kids safe and addiction-free online.


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