Smartphones have definitely changed how we function in the world. The handheld devices make our lives and our children's lives so much easier in so many ways, but there is a fine line between using a smartphone when needed and relying on it way too much. In fact, many adults feel they are too connected to their phones while worrying their children rely on theirs too much as well.
Common Sense Media recently conducted a survey of both adults and children about their screen time usage and if they feel there's a balance there, and the results may surprise you. Fifty-two percent of parents surveyed felt they are on their phone too much, which is up from 29% who felt the same way during a 2016 survey. Meanwhile, 47% of kids felt they were spending just the right amount of time on their phones, also up from 29% in 2016. While 39% of kids felt they were addicted to their phones, a whopping 45% felt the same way.
What may be surprising to many parents is how many kids are taking their phones to bed with them and physically sleeping with them. The survey showed that 29% of children are taking their phones in their beds with them at night, with many admitting to waking up because of audible notifications and 36% waking up at least once in the middle of the night to check their phones. Sixty percent of adults sleep with their phones within arms distance of their phones, but only 12% actually keep the devices in bed with them.
While research is split on whether our smartphone usage is helping or harming us, the survey found that 68% of children believe their parents are on their phones too much. That's a damning statistic for many parents who feel that they are addicted to their phones because it means their kids are noticing how much they're on their phones as well. In fact, parents are far more concerned about how much time they are on their phones than teens are. Smartphones have definitely made our lives easier, but there is a struggle to often find the balance between how much usage is too much.