Documentary explores how kids get addicted to their smartphones

Documentary explores how kids get addicted to their smartphones
More than two-thirds of teenagers own a smartphone, and 37% of them own a tablet. This leads to a large number of teens becoming addicted to their handsets. A documentary, Screenagers, explores this issue. According to Common Sense Media, only 3% of kids' screen time is devoted to creating something. The vast majority of screen time is used to listen to music, watch video, read or post over social media, and play games.

The documentary was directed by Delaney Ruston, a physician by trade. With a daughter who was always checking out social media, and a son who hid behind video games, Ruston was getting mad at her kids, but also felt guilty for having this anger. Including the television screen, smartphone and tablet, kids spend an average of 6.5 hours a day watching a screen for non-school activities.

Director Ruston says that anything that forces kids to look at each other can help break their screen addiction. What is not a good idea according to one teacher, is taking kids' phones away from them during school hours. This teacher says that kids are going to grow up facing digital distractions, so they need to learn how to deal with it now. Ruston says, "This is the parenting issue of our time. Tech on its own isn’t bad, but it’s bad when it’s out of balance."

If you're interested in viewing the documentary, click on the sourcelink to find a screening of it near you. You can also view the official trailer by clicking on the video below. 

source: Screenagers via Forbes



14. canner

Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

My parents made buy my own phone when i was a teenager. I admit i did get addicted but my parents werent responsible because i did it to myself.

12. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

My 9 year old sis has a galaxy s6 and my 14 year old bro has a galaxy s6 edge but both of them get to only use it on weekends. During school days, they are banned from using any technology except to use the laptop for school works. I think parents need to control their kids and give them time limits on their usage of gadgets

9. KeyserSoze

Posts: 387; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

What's the big mystery? Kids get addicted to smartphones the same way adults do, duh!

8. Totse2k15

Posts: 479; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

I gave some cheap Moto G/Moto E to my nieces/nephews to watch youtube/play games with (ages 2-7). I hope they don't turn out to be anti-social/smartphones addiction... *Lmfaol*

3. Mr_Popo

Posts: 23; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

That's because it encapsulates all the relevant online/computer utility for them in a highly portable form...most of it social media. The only pathological thing about smartphones is unwavering brand allegiance, effectively declaring "I am committed to the deepening of the executives and shareholders' pockets, even at the expense of my options as a consumer".

2. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Nothing surprising really.

4. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

I've seen couples going to dinner at restaurants and thier to busy with thier phone.

5. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Yea I also see this criminally often. First thing that I do when I go out with my girlfriend I switch to airplane mode and she does the same

6. AZNHA unregistered

nice tips

7. S.R.K.

Posts: 678; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

Even I sometimes to get busy with my phone, when I'm out dinning with my wife. How stupid of me. Good idea. Switch it to off-line. What a Dickhead I am, aswell as others are. We revert back to our phones even when we are suppose to concentrate on each other.. I see everyone everywhere to busy with thier phones. Another way to be entertained and pass time.

1. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I'm on a smartphone website. yet, I don't even get that close. Well! That'll change when Pokemon sun and moon come out!

11. Switch00

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

I wouldn't call it a new type of addiction. Most of 'addiction' can be attributed to the fact, that smartphone is an all in one device - tv, book, newspapers, phone, game console, walkman, ... So if you add all these up, I don't see that much of a difference with late 90's or 00's anymore - just all on one device. Social media is another problem, of course.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless