Is 2 hours Mobile Use a Day for a Teenager Too Much?

Reports released this week unveil that a teenager will have sent more than 35,000 texts, 30,000 WhatsApp messages and racked up more than three solid weeks of video chat at the age of 14. OMG!

We have a 15 year old and Beth’s had her mobile from her first year in High School so we could give her some boundaries while still being caring parents. There was also the added benefit of GPS so she couldn’t get lost in a new town and build up our trust in being able to leave our street on her own to finally the town.

It’s crazy to think a modern youngster will average 135 minutes’ use a day. Imagine spending that much time learning a new skill, language or developing a talent.

The report found that on average, kids receive their first smartphone at the age of 10 which was in line with what we did as a family and if it wasn’t for this, relatives would have purchased one at a lot younger age.

There’s also a list of the top 10 smartphone worries as a parent. I can literally relate to every single one of these so find my comments below.

THE TOP 10 SMARTPHONE WORRIES FOR PARENTS

  1. Kids accessing inappropriate content (Most definitely. Protecting our children’s innocence is vital.)
  2. Children may be targeted by strangers (It happens every day in the news and we pray that it’ll never be us.)
  3. Cyber-bullying (Bullies happen everywhere but at least school bullies will stop when you go home. Cyber bullying is non stop.)
  4. Receiving nasty messages (Again with the above and including adult content)
  5. They’ll be on the phones too late into the night, disturbing their sleep (Blue light filter or not, if you’re not going asleep till the early morning you’ll feel it. Sleep deprivation is one of the worst ways to mess up your learning and health.)
  6. Worried kids will drop/break phone. (Been there, done that)
  7. Will be glued to the phone and stop listening. (Pardon?)
  8. Kids not concentrating in class (It’s hard to concentrate if you’ve got the world at your fingertips. Schools should be able to mask mobile phone signals.)
  9. Bullying over the handset (We’ve never got Beth the latest one.)
  10. Phone will get stolen (Always a worry.)

The survey, of 1000 kids aged 8-14 and their parents, also found that young people expect to receive a reply to a message within 15 minutes, and spend over an hour a day browsing social media sites Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

A spokesman for Monqi, smartphone makers who introduce kids to tech safely and promote healthy habits who commissioned the research, said: “As the smartphone generation is relatively new, we’re not sure of the long-term effects of such heavy phone use.

“However parents need to take note of these figures and look at ways in which they can introduce healthy smart phone habits, to get the balance right between screen time and other activities, such as school work and family time.

“Monqi is a dedicated device for kids, with an app that parents can use remotely to control phone useage, including how much time they spend texting, playing games and using social media – it gives the kids independence but allows the grown-ups to introduce technology in a safe way.”

What do you think about the above? I think seeing it in facts and figures like that is crazy. Two hours a day use could be used for so many other things. It’s our job as parents and role models to encourage other educational, skillful or fun things to do.

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