A new report by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that promotes safe technology and media for children, found Teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones a day. This works out to be around 30% of their day spend. To put this into perspective it means teenagers are spending almost as much time sleeping as they are staring at a small glass screen. But are these figures actually representative of how long teens actually spend on their phones? And even if these figures are accurate does it mean teens are genuinely “addicted” to their phones or has society just evolved to be more smartphone reliant? 

An addiction is defined as a physical and mental dependence on a particular substance or item. Personally, I don’t think it’s fair to isolate teens in particular for being addicted to their phones because, with the rapid advancements and continuous evolution of smartphones, all age groups have developed a dependence on their smartphone and probably can not go long term without their phones.  Most people tend to forget that phones aren’t just a form of entertainment to aid with escapism but they are also a means of navigation, a way to access information and (taking it back to its original purpose) one of the most common forms of communications used today. Even though many argue smartphones have made society less in touch with their surroundings and have caused the extinction of community, in truth smartphones have allowed people to be more in tune with those they care about and has birthed new digital communities. Now people can stay in contact with those they’d have previously lost contact with (like relatives living in different countries). And people are able to make friends with others all over the world; although this has a terrible track record (like phones) it’s not all bad and opens people to new experiences, ideologies and evokes understanding between individuals. In closing, I believe cellphones have gotten an unfair, untrue stigma surrounding it.

By: Naomi Eboreime