Tech is an integral part of our world. Even for us adults who didn’t grow up with smartphones and laptops, tech is something we use on a daily basis. While technology provides us with amazing tools, too much tech use can be a cause for concern—especially when it comes to our children.
Is your child becoming more and more reliant on technology? Are you beginning to worry that tech has become a crutch instead of a tool for your child? If these worries hit close to home, stay tuned for a few signs of technology addiction.
Identifying Signs of Technology Addiction
There’s a difference between reliance on technology and technology addiction, but if the following signs apply to your child, it might be time to intervene.
Tech Is a Mood Booster
One sign of children addicted to technology is using tech as a mood booster. When your child is sad or upset, do they turn to technology for comfort? Do they rely on their favorite game or show to make them happy again? Now we’ve all used tech to take our mind off something, but when it becomes what your child relies on to be happy, they might be facing addiction.
They Lose Interest in Other Activities
Say you gave your kids the option of going to the pool (or another activity they enjoy) or playing on their phone/tablet at home—which would they likely choose? If you think they’d choose phone time more than another activity they’ve enjoyed in the past, they might be developing an addiction to tech. Now, if that’s just a one-time occurrence, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. It’s when your kids begin losing interest in favorite activities or hobbies because of time they’re spending on tech that you might want to intervene.
They Become Obsessive
Most of us have probably described a funny meme or TikTok we saw to friends or family, and your kids probably do the same. These sorts of references are perfectly normal, but if you begin noticing your child talk about nothing but their favorite video game, YouTuber, or TikToker, their tech use might be getting out of hand. Additionally, they might obsess over their photos on social media or how many “likes” they get. Though these actions might seem relatively harmless, they could be signs that your child is too reliant on technology.
Tears Are Shed When Not Using Tech
Picture it: a child is using their device in a restaurant. When the food comes, their parent asks them to put the device away, but they refuse. The parent consequently takes the device from the child and a tantrum ensues. Embarrassed, the parent reluctantly gives the device back to prevent the child from drawing attention to their table. Sound familiar? If you haven’t lived this scene (count yourself blessed), you’ve certainly seen it. When children begin to throw tantrums because they aren’t allowed to use tech, it’s a good indication that they’ve become addicted.
Technology can be distracting for all of us. However, if your child is constantly distracted by tech, it might be a sign that they’re struggling with addiction. Maybe they can’t put their device down at the dinner table. Or maybe they frequently check their phone while doing homework. Whatever it be, if your child is constantly distracted by tech, consider talking with them about addiction.
What Can You Do?
These are just a few signs that children addicted to technology might exhibit. If you start to notice your children doing any of the above, you may want to address the issue before it gets worse. Begin by talking with them about the harm of tech addiction and how they can avoid it. Then make a plan with them to reduce their screen time. If you’re in search of a device that can help your child learn how to regulate their own tech use, check out Troomi—each of their devices is designed to help your child gradually become more self-reliant when it comes to healthy tech use.
If you suspect your child has a more serious addiction to tech, don’t lose hope. There is always help for those struggling with an addiction of any kind. Once you have spoken with your child about a potential addiction, reassure them that you don’t love them any less and that you will be by their side every step of the way. Once your child is ready, seek professional help. For more information about addiction and addiction recovery options, click here.