SPRINGFIELD, MO (01/08/18) - Cell phones are a part of our daily lives but sometimes they can cause a problem. I know I’m guilty of checking my phone multiple times in just one hour. But this growing issue among the youth is causing bigger problems.
Selfies, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. “You know I would treat cell phone addiction with any other type of addiction," says NAMI advocate Stephanie Appleby.
The list goes on with a countless amount of things you can do on your phone and the pressure to immediately respond to text messages can cause stress in teens.
“Cell phone addiction, I know it seems silly, but some of the symptoms are the same as drug withdraws," says Appleby. "I mean shaking and nausea. When you take that phone away and your kids are responding and getting physically ill that’s not a good thing.”
Appleby says 50 percent of youth have said they are addicted to their cell phones. When you post a picture and get alerts and notifications this can release dopamine causing a happy feeling and causing us to be addicted.
Appleby say's “It’s astonishing to see how much they are dependent on feedback from other people.” She claims cell phones can distract kids from school and other daily activities.
“With my son, in particular, he had some grade issues and I said we are going to be taking a time out," says Appleby. "He couldn’t handle it. He thought his world was ending.”
She says have your kids take a tech time out. For certain times of the day make them put their phones away. And apply data limits so your child doesn’t have free roam all day and night.
And when asked what age your child should be when they receive a phone, she says it just depends on their maturity level. Also, another tip, try and put your phone down for just a few hours. You'll feel disconnected at first but you’re more aware of everything that’s going on around you.