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“Recent national surveys project that 53% of children will own a smartphone by age 11. While the reality of a child being able to utilize the features of a smartphone has provided many new benefits to both them and their parents, the harm of unlimited access to smartphone technology on a child’s mental health has many experts worried.
According to a recent systematic review conducted by researchers at King’s College London, roughly one in four children and young people who own a smartphone display what mental health experts call “problematic smartphone usage,” which can be further described as “behaviours linked to smartphone use that resemble features of addiction.”
While many people think of addiction as a behavior driven by things such as drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, the concept of addiction to technology has become a serious reality in recent years, which has caused people to display behavior similar to those with dependence on hard or soft drugs.
In their findings, the researchers sought to identify several different features of addiction to smartphone technology, including specific behaviors such as: “having an intense urge to use your phone,” “feeling panicked if it runs out of battery,” “neglecting other more important things to use it,” “spending more time on it than you first intended to,” “having other people complain about how much someone used their phone,” and “continuing to use it despite knowing how much it affected other areas of your life, including sleep or school work.””
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