“Majority of Teens Admit They Feel Happy When They Don’t Have Their Phones, New Survey Shows”

When I talk to youth about technology, they admit that the time they spend on their devices is excessive and that they usually aren’t learning any skills from spending three hours scrolling on TikTok. I’ve also had youth tell me how refreshing it was when their device was confiscated by a frustrated parent. They tell me how they got back into hobbies they used to enjoy, such as reading, drawing, art, or going to the gym.

Life is all about balance. When I work with youth, I often have them check their “screentime” or a similar function, and we review how much time they spend on an app in a particular day. For example, a youth once told me that they spent three hours a day on TikTok every day. I asked what would happen if they practiced their band instrument for three hours a day for a week. They told me that they would make the “state band.” I agreed. While technology is fun and has its place in a youth’s life, we need to help them maintain (or restore) balance in their lives. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, I believe that many teens would agree that a break from technology would allow them to feel happy and peaceful without their devices. With teens, we can have a rational conversation about life before and after smartphones. With younger kids, we will have to be more structured in our conversation as they may not be as self-reflective as teens. Let’s help our youth maintain a healthy balance between technology and real-life activities. They will thank us in the end. ~ Ryan