Teenagers are not alone: Many parents are addicted to their smartphones too

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The dopamine in our brains is stimulated by the unpredictability that social media, emails and texting provide.

Because teenagers are born into the technology era, it’s only natural for them to be the ones most familiar with it. They know social media and cellphones and the Internet like the back of their hands, and as a result they are drawn into it to the point of excess.

In fact, teenagers openly admit to that fact.

But experts say teenagers and children are not alone; parents are just as addicted.

“What people don’t realise is that their smartphone is shaping them, it’s conditioning them,” said David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, in a Christian Science Monitor article. “As a culture we have crossed the tipping point of overusing the technology.”

Digital detox expert Holland Haiis said that technological addiction can happen to everyone.

In a CNN report, she said that “we have constant access to new information and this is alluring, intriguing and exciting, but without setting limits for yourself, it’s a slippery slope.”

“The dopamine in our brains is stimulated by the unpredictability that social media, emails and texting provide,” she added. “It’s a vicious cycle and in order to break that cycle, you need to find the same unpredictability and stimulation which is out there if you are exercising. You never know what’s around the bend when out for a jog, bike ride or walk.”

Meanwhile, a study published in Pediatrics called “Patterns of Mobile Device Use by Caregivers and Children During Meals in Fast Food Restaurants” postulated that parents who are glued to their mobile phones have poor relationship with their children.

Not only that, the study also came into conclusion that such parents are more irritable in responding to their child during a meal time conversation and other interactions.

So the next time you pick up your phone in lieu of interacting with your child, maybe you should reconsider and do instead something that will strengthen your bond to the things in the real world.

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!

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