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Poll: Teens, adults struggle with putting down the smartphone

Marty Wilson and his daughter Grace talk about phone addiction (KRCG 13)

It's that uneasy anxious feeling when you're away from your smartphone for too long. There's a name for it: nomophobia.

A Common Sense Media poll shows 50 percent of teens feel they are addicted to their mobile devices.

"Feeling the inability to be detached from your mobile device," Jefferson City Medical Group (JCMG) pediatrician Dr. William Klutho said.

Panicking when your phone is running low on battery, thinking your phone is going off when it isn't (Phantom Phone Vibration Syndrome) or always checking your phone and using it in between conservations, these are a few signs of nomophobia.

Klutho said several parents express concerns about how much their kids use their smartphones.

It's recommended for school age children and adolescents to have less than two hours of TV, internet, cell phone - basically that none school work screen time down to less than two hours a day.

According to a Common Sense Media poll, nearly 80 percent of teens said they check their phones hourly.

"It's frustrating," said Marty Wilson, a father of three teenage daughters. "They're too reliant on them."

Tessa is a sophomore and Grace is a freshman. Like most teens, both are typically on their smartphones.

"And as we're talking they're both on their phones," Wilson said.

He explained how he's not a fan of the phones because it prevents people from socializing.

"We go to these great spots so they could see stuff," Wilson said. "But they really just see their phones or taking pictures of themselves with the background with the phones.

And it's even more so a struggle a struggle when teens don't see it the same way.

"I do rely on it for a lot of different things, but I don't think it's much of a bad thing that I am," Tessa said.

While the girls said they'll admit to being addicted, they want the record to show their parents are just as bad.

"I feel like they're a little hypocritical." Grace said. "I feel like they use their phones just as much as we do."

Klutho said it's something we have to regulate not only in our children but also ourselves.

Parents too are guilty of checking their phones constantly, with nearly 70 percent who struggle to unplug, according to a recent poll.

And the effects can be harmful to your well being.

"People who go to sleep with their phone on, using their phone before bed or as their sleeping, not going into a deeper stage of sleep but have very much disrupted sleep, shorter sleep span," Klutho said. "And that has shown to affect school work, attention and actually has been show to affect obesity as well."

One study in South Korea found addicted teens also had significantly higher scores in anxiety and depression.

"They get impatient if they can't find it or they haven't been on in a long time especially during the punishment times," Wilson said.

To fight back against smartphone addiction, experts suggest mindfulness training such as turning off your phone at certain times of the day. They said remove social media apps and only check in from your laptop.

To find out how addicted you are to your smartphone, click here to take an online quiz. Rate your responses on a scale of 1 (completely disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) and add your score to find out your results.




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