Growth of Screen Addiction in Teens: Getting your teen off the couch and out in the “real” world

screen addiction

Growth of Screen Addiction in Teens: Getting your teen off the couch and out in the “real” world

So you really need to talk to your teen about a pressing family issue. And they promise to be right with you—as soon as they change their Facebook status, answer their DMs, Facetime for a few with their BF and perhaps even their BFF, and check out the latest YouTube video from their fave social media star.

Does it sometimes seem that your teen spends more and more time in front of a computer screen—and less time behind a book, at the dinner table, or in front of you and your family?

Well chances are, they aren’t any happier about it than you are. A San Diego University study indicates that teen-agers who spend an excessive amount of time glued to their phone or computer screens are substantially less happy than those who lead a more balanced life.

With teens spending nine hours a day using media, it is little wonder that screen addiction in teens is such a prevalent concern among today’s parents.

Getting Your Teen Off The Couch

Here are some ways that you can get your teen off the couch, away from the screen, and back into the real world:

  1. Encourage your kids to diversify. The happiest teens are those who enjoy a variety of activities from day to day; hobbies and interests that could include reading, sports, and spending time with friends and classmates.
  2. Plan more family activities. Engage your teen in family field trips to movies, to the park, to museums and ballgames. Bring them gently but with determination into the outside world; and who knows? They just might like it out there.
  3. Don’t take away their phone or computer. Forcing your teen to quit their social media and online interaction cold turkey will tempt them to rebel; and may not make them happier in the long run or battle the problem of screen addiction in teens. Indeed, the happiest teens tend to be those who devote about an hour a day to social media pursuits.
  4. Ensure that your teen sticks to designated daily schedules of sleeping and eating. Increased social media use can most literally keep kids up at night; costing them the rest they need to excel at school and manage their moods.
  5. Encourage your teen to plan more in person interactions with friends. As opposed to texting or Facetiming a good bud, encourage your teen to invite them over for dinner, or go out to a movie or a game with them; it is when teens are in the company of their friends that they tend to be happiest of all.

ViewPoint Center can help

ViewPoint Center is a nurturing short term assessment center and mental health facility geared toward teens ages 12-17, offering care and solutions for a vast variety of mental health issues. For more information, please call 801-825-5222.


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