Half of youngsters are addicted to their smartphones

According to a survey carried out by the Independent Health Mutual, youngsters between the ages of 12 and 23 check their smartphone an average of 47 times a day. Half of the 976 youngsters questioned said that they believe that they are addicted to their smartphone.      

Evelyne Macken of the Independent Health Mutual told journalists that some youngster check their phone as much as 100 times a day.

"Those that are addicted to their smartphone find it difficult to stop. Parent and friends comment about this”, Ms Macken added.  

Youngsters use their smartphones to go on social media. Keeping in touch with friends is the most important reason given for using a smart phone. They communicate virtually as much as they do face-to-face.   But why is online communication so important? One reason given is that you have more time to think about what you say. Secondly you can convey your emotions better. Timid youngsters can express themselves better.  

"However, there are also a number of negative elements. Half of those surveyed have come across cyber-bullying. This can involve being ridiculed online or involve identity fraud”, Ms Macken added.     

4 out of 10 of the youngsters questioned said that they had posted something on social media that they had later regretted. Meanwhile, 1 in 5 said that they encountered social pressure to have a presence on social media.  Parents are also active on social media. However, just one in three keep a close eye on their child’s smartphone use.  

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