In case there was any doubt that teens are addicted to the internet, a new study conducted at Kazan University confirms that yes, teens are indeed a little too obsessed with their devices.
For the study, researchers surveyed a group of teens between the ages of 14 and 19. The results showed that teens are addicted to the internet and specifically to social networking apps and sites. The signs of addiction included little control over time spent online and over their own activity timelines and an inability to set priorities.
After being clued in to the program’s results, researchers decided to come up with prevention measures to stop the teens from becoming addicted in the first place. “We see a solution in prevention measures implemented by all the participants of educational relations,” explains study co-author Regina Sakhieva. “That’s why the researchers proposed psychological and pedagogical guidance of prevention policies, including organizational efforts for prevention, special courses for teachers and psychologists, and new forms and methods of prevention work.”
If you suspect you’re addicted to technology, you’re far from alone—but the effects of too much time spent with tech can be harmful. In fact, mbg’s 2018 wellness trends report identified that big technology is the next big tobacco in that it’s addictive and has the ability to shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Another study, published last month, found that it may not be technology we’re addicted to but the false sense of social interaction we get from it. “The pro-social needs and rewards [of smartphone use as a means to connect] can be similarly hijacked to produce a manic theater of hyper-social monitoring,” explained the study’s author.
Sadly, not all of us have access to technology addiction prevention programs. But there’s a lot you can do on your own. “Put your phone away when you’re in someone else’s company,” neurologist Ilene Ruhoy suggests. “You’ll be surprised at how hard it is at first! We’ve become so attached to these devices that it’s common for people to feel the need to check their phones in the middle of a conversation with friends or family. Try to let go of that urge to check in with your virtual world, and focus on being present so you can enjoy the company of the person sitting right next to you instead.”