There is growing concern that technology addiction may be a ‘lifelong struggle’ for teenagers due to their continuous use of mobile phones, iPads and other modern devices.
In a recent report commissioned by Allen Carr Addiction Clinics, it was revealed that 83% of teenagers in the UK would struggle to give up popular activities such as texting and using social media for one month.
Other vices such as drinking alcohol and eating junk food were also considered in the study – which involved 1,000 teenagers aged between 12 and 18 – but a whopping 66% said they would most struggle to live without texting while 58% said social media.
Today, the average teenager checks social media 11 times a day, and sends around 17 text messages – at least one for every 1.5 hours they are awake.
The report also noted that teenagers take an average of 7.4 selfies a month – approximately one every four days.
Unsurprisingly, use of modern technology is now the most expensive habit among teenagers, which along with junk food, gambling and alcohol costs around £62 a month.
Approximately £6.64 of this amount goes on mobile phones, texting and data.
In light of this research, John Dicey, global managing director and senior therapist at Allen Carr Addiction Clinics said: “These habits – the social media and technology – are getting young people to display the hallmarks of addictions at a young age. They can’t legitimately afford it.
“We’re talking about addictive behaviours: if you’re capable of addictive behaviours at 12, our argument is you’re more likely to develop further problems with addiction.”
While the report highlights there are several factors behind technology addiction, it is believed constant pursuit of peer approval, instant gratification, stimulation, and elements of narcissism are key driving forces.
Dicey explained: “Unless we educate our young people as to the dangers of constant stimulation and consumption, we are sleepwalking towards an epidemic of adulthood addiction in the future.”