I'm Gen Z And Phone Addiction Is Not Just My Fault

<<This is a guest post by Claire Pontefract, the 13 year-old daughter of Dan Pontefract>>

Before you read, I’m sorry if I offend any of the adults reading this.

I think you would be lying if you said you haven’t talked about the big ‘screen problem’ that’s going on with my generation. I’m Gen Z, 13 years-old and proud of it.

We are on our phones way too much and it’s getting out of hand.

I now realize how large this issue has become. But it is not fair to blame just my generation for this problem. In my opinion, the parents and teachers of these teens can be responsible for a large portion of why a lot of us are addicted. I’m pretty tired of hearing all of this talk from my parents and teachers about me and my peers being attached to our phones. But if there were boundaries set in the first place at home and at school by the adults, we wouldn’t be in this big of a problem. I can guarantee that far less of us would be addicted if there were rules set from the beginning.

Over half of the people in my generation are addicted to their phones. But it isn’t necessarily our fault. When these new inventions were created, our parents didn’t set limits, not thinking about how addictive the devices could become. Scientists are now saying that people addicted to their phones show the same symptoms as people addicted to drugs. “Just as some drug users become so hooked that it puts a strain on their personal, social, and professional lives, the same can happen for true ‘smartphone addicts.’ They can find themselves ignoring work, children, and other responsibilities just to check their Facebook feed one more time, or to play that extra bit of Clash of Clans.”

If there are laws for addictive things such as drugs or alcohol, how come there isn’t a law regarding something just as addictive, taking over the lives of kids, some who haven’t even hit puberty.

Kids are getting mobile phones at such young ages now. 12, 11 or even 10-year old children are receiving their first phone. And after a few months these “tweens” become addicted.

But it’s not only their fault, it’s their parents.

Parents wait too long to set boundaries, long enough for their children to become attached to their phones as a crutch. If there was a thirty minute limit on screens on the day a child received their phone, it wouldn’t be World War III when a parent decided to take it away for bad behaviour.

It’s the same at school. Teachers at my school are talking about banning phones at our school, and a lot of kids are against it. If there were rules or time limits from the day phones were permitted to be used at school, there wouldn’t be an enormous argument between the students and staff about what to do. The students wouldn’t have ever been given a chance to experience the other choice of having phones used with limited restrictions.

You can call each and every one of us addicted.

I’ll admit I can be addicted to my phone, but it’s because we never had strong enough boundaries at home or at school. I’ve forever lived in an environment where sitting on my phone was okay until pretty much this year, making it a lot harder to end my addiction. It would’ve been  easier if my attachment to my phone never started.

If you are considering getting your child a phone, I strongly suggest it. Just be sure to have very strong limits and rules about it and don’t let your kids convince you out of them. Talk to the teachers or administrators of your child’s school to make sure rules are being enforced.

As for me…my recent digital detox has really shown me how much can be done in the time I might be endlessly scrolling through useless social media.

It has really opened my eyes how much I am actually on my phone. I encourage everyone to do a digital detox, even the parents!

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