As anyone who has teenage kids or spends a lot of time around young people can probably confirm, it sometimes seems like the only chance to have a proper conversation with them is to have their smartphone surgically removed. While that is obviously just the bitter old man inside me talking, a recent Pew Research survey of parents in the United States found that 72 percent of them often or sometimes feel like their teenage kid is distracted by his or her phone when having a conversation.
And it’s not just the parents who think that their kids’ smartphone use might be excessive. As the following chart illustrates, more than half of the teens interviewed by Pew think so themselves. Interestingly more teenagers feel that they spend too much time on their phone than they do using social media or playing video games, but fewer have tried to cut back on their usage at some point in the past.
Both Apple and Google have recently announced new features for their smartphone operating systems that will help users keep track of their screentime and possibly limit it. While that certainly shows the companies’ willingness to help limit the negative effects of excessive smartphone use, ultimately, it’s in the consumers’ hands to change their possibly unhealthy habits.