Why am I addicted to YouTube 2

Is My Child Addicted To Smartphone?

You are tormented by the question: "Is my child addicted to smartphones?" You are not alone in this. In many families, the smartphone is a regular trigger for arguments and discussions. But today's world can hardly be imagined without the smartphone. It offers many opportunities that make our lives easier. Checking the latest news, the weather or emails or just playing a game, a few posts on Snapchat or Instagram, all possible in a matter of seconds.

All of this offers advantages, but also carries a certain risk. Children and young people in particular use their cell phones or smartphones very often - they grow up with them. You are active on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and WhatsApp. To many parents it seems as if their children are constantly on the phone. Sooner or later, the question "Does my child have a smartphone addiction or cell phone addiction?" Will arise for many. But how much smartphone use is “normal” and when do you talk about addiction?

Posting the photo of your dinner on Instagram, cracking the latest high score in your favorite game or long-term small talk with friends on Whatsapp - this seems to be normal in the 21st century. But is that it? There is a fine line between boredom and addiction; anyone who has to look at their smartphone an average of 60 times a day is considered addicted. Children, adolescents and middle-aged people are most often affected, but not all of them are considered to be smartphone addicts. But how do you know whether your child is addicted to their smartphone or other MEDIA?

What is cell phone addiction or smartphone addiction?

The Smartphone addiction is not a recognized disease, just like computer game addiction. Nevertheless, it is an issue that affects more and more people. Researchers have found that cell phone addiction is primarily related to the heavy use of communication apps. Consequently, cell phone addiction is defined as the compulsive urge to get in touch with other people through communication media. This can be explained by the “fear of missing out” syndrome, i.e. the fear of missing out on something. This is reinforced by the communication applications on the smartphone and the constant availability through them.

This creates the desire to be constantly connected to other people. Another point why smartphone use can be addictive is the release of the happiness hormone dopamine. This can be explained as follows: First you perform an action. In this case it is switching on the mobile phone by pressing a button. This action is then followed by a surprise. This can be a new message from friends, a new post on Facebook or Instagram or something similar. This causes the release of dopamine, which means that smartphones are being used more and more frequently. But that alone does not make an addiction.

How do you recognize smartphone addiction?

To the question, "Is my child addicted to smartphones?“To be able to answer, the difference between a smartphone addiction and normal usage behavior must first be made more tangible. Subdivide for this Psychologists frequent smartphone users in four types:

  1. Type D uses the mobile phone especially when bored to let the time pass faster. While this guy is online a lot, they can regulate their usage.
  2. Type c is aware of the negative effects of excessive cell phone use. He knows that frequent smartphone use can have a negative impact on social contacts. It is also online a lot, but can regulate its use through this knowledge of negative consequences.
  3. Type B has good social skills that make it possible to manage one's everyday life despite being online all the time.
  4. Type a is classified as acutely addictive. This guy isolates himself and neglects social contacts. He no longer lives in the real world, but only in the virtual one.

Type A in particular has to be seriously worried about. However, this type is also easy to recognize because it actively isolates itself. However, in order to be able to recognize at an early stage that the child is falling into an addiction, it is necessary to observe the child's behavior. If some of these symptoms occur frequently, it is at least necessary to take a closer look.

You are asking yourself specifically: is my child addicted to smartphones? Some Symptoms that show whether your child is addicted to smartphones are:

  • Thoughtful Stupor / Difficulty concentrating-irritability / aggressiveness
  • sadness (e.g. when friends meet and have fun, when you are not there yourself)
  • anxiety (e.g. that friends or other people have better experiences than you do)
  • Tolerance development
  • Increasing Duration of use / Urge to be online all the time
  • neglect earlier Hobbies
  • Withdrawal symptoms at Disuse (e.g. restlessness and nervousness when it is not clear what the friends are doing)

Is my child addicted to smartphones? What can I do as a parent?

Meet some of the Symptoms The next question that arises is what can be done about it. Confiscating the smartphone is certainly the first solution that comes to mind. However, this does not bring the desired success. Smartphone addiction is not about stopping consumption completely, but about finding a healthy level for it again. This makes this addiction very different from other addictions. Affected people have to learn to resort to different behaviors and to maintain social contacts and hobbies again. To do this, they have to re-prioritize mobile phone use and the “real world” in order to be able to assess again what normal consumption means. Therapy helps here.

So that your child does not run into the risk of addiction in the first place, the use of smartphones should be guided from the start and the parents should act as role models. Parents should show how the internet can be used functionally and keep in touch with their children. You should educate and draw attention to dangers on the Internet. It is not easy to specify a suitable time frame for smartphone use. Networking behavior has changed significantly in recent years. Standards that used to apply must be set anew today. Children and young people learn technical skills at an early age, unlike 10 years ago.

Reflection questions parents can help to assess the current situation in the household, e.g.

1. How many technical devices are there in the household?

2. How often am I on the cell phone in terms of being a role model?

3. What kind of mobile phone contract does my child have, i.e. how long can my child surf the Internet?

4. Are there any usage regulations regarding mobile phone consumption?

5. What is the family situation like?

Our children grow up with smartphones

Due to this early contact with computers and smartphones, there is a different relationship to these devices than with the parents' generation. Therefore, not every use is to be seen as too much. To put it simply, the younger your child is, the shorter the period for using the smartphone should be. This framework should then be expanded with increasing age. In the next step, young people have to learn responsibility and freedom in using the smartphone. Here, prohibitions and restrictions should not be the way to achieve this, but rather actively accompany and stay in touch attentively. If this succeeds, adolescents generally have fewer problems with restricting their usage behavior on their own.

If you feel that your child's cell phone use is ramping up, talk to them. Address your observation, but without threatening prohibitions or making accusations. Rather, try to find a regulation for the whole family, such as not using cell phones at the table. If this regulation is implemented well and your child adheres to agreements made, the likelihood of addiction is reduced.

Who can help? Where can I get advice?

If you have a specific suspicion that your child is addicted to smartphones and you are stuck on your own, there are several contact points that can help. The Association for Media Dependency has put an address list of its contact points online on the Internet (http://www.fv-medienabhaengigkeit.de/91.html). They can be a first point of contact and, if necessary, pass them on. You can also get information and advice from ELSA (parenting advice on addiction risk and dependence on children and young people) (https://www.elternberatung-sucht.de/) If there is an addiction, therapy is an option. This can be outpatient, partial inpatient and fully inpatient. The decision as to which form is appropriate depends on the severity and form of the addiction. The children and young people learn again how to use smartphones in a healthy way and how to prioritize the virtual and relaer world again. After therapy, you should stay in touch with your child attentively and with interest to avoid relapse.

What to do if you are addicted to a smartphone yourself?

If you are afraid of being affected yourself, you can try certain measures to limit your cell phone use first. In the vastness of the Internet there are numerous self-help groups such as http://www.aktiv-gegen-mediensucht.de/foren/9/vorstellung-bestehender-selbsthilfegruppen-shg/ Here you can find those affected with whom you share your successes but also setbacks can.

Concrete tips for reducing mobile phone consumption:

  1. Put your mobile phone on mute so that you don't flinch at every text message.
  2. Another little trick is to buy a real alarm clock and use it instead of the virtual mobile phone alarm clock. This avoids picking up the cell phone for the first time in the morning.
  3. It is also helpful to switch off the cell phone for important things such as meetings.
  4. Think about how important your social networks are to you and maybe just delete some of your social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Co.
  5. Get an app that monitors your consumption: e.g. BreakFree is available for Android and IOS

Subject: Is my child addicted to smartphones?

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About the author Jan Bohlken

Jan Bohlken (founder & owner of the Profiling Institute) is a study and career advisor, career coach and personnel consultant. In the Profiling Institute's blog, he regularly deals with a wide variety of topics from the fields of school, studies, career and education.