Tim Clinton: Device Addiction Is Killing Face Time

As is its yearly custom, Apple recently unveiled a slew of updates, upgrades and new features for Apple product aficionados. Yet among the many advancements there was an uncommon addition this year — a tool to help users curb their phone addiction.

Even Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) acknowledges it: Device addiction is a consuming problem that has deep mental health implications.

By the way, I am not suggesting devices are bad. In fact, you are probably reading this on your phone! The problem arises when we allow technology to build a barrier between us and the world around us.

For example, half of all teenagers “feel addicted” to their phones and mobile devices. What’s more, 78% of teenagers feel the need to check their mobile devices for notifications and messages hourly. Parents are almost as bad, with 69% of those polled saying they check their phones at least once per hour.

What fuels this addictive reaction? I think a major driver is what is commonly referred to as FOMO — the “fear of missing out.” We can’t shake the nagging sense that everyone else is participating in an amazing experience and we’re the only ones who are not a part of it. The only way to ensure we don’t miss out is to feverishly check our social media feeds, a habit that quickly becomes an obsession.

This dependency has dangerous consequences. Previous studies have shown that nearly half of all adults (47%) admit to texting or reading text messages while behind the wheel of a car, and 44% of adults report having been a passenger when the driver used their phone in a way that put people in danger.

More dangerous still is what happens within our bodies and minds. A recent study suggests a correlation between increased phone use and a rise in depression and suicide in teenagers. Teens who spent five or more hours a day on devices were nearly twice as likely to consider suicide than teens who only spent one hour.

Our kids are being crushed by a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality in a social media culture that expects one’s manicured crop of photos and posts to reveal unique and exclusive events and experiences. As our sons and daughters fret over having a polished social media façade, they are starving for meaningful relationships. Snapchat and Twitter will never be a substitute for face-to-face relationship.

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Source: Christian Post