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Eyes glued, thumbs racing, an occasional look up to grunt a response. Kids seem locked in the grip of Smartphone addiction.

Parents and other adults bemoan the familiar sight of kids glued to their smartphones. (Although most parents are just as guilty)

Kids will lose the ability to spell because of texting. They won’t know how to socialize. They’re too addicted to gaming.

Relax.

In spite of the challenges they face today, kids are doing pretty well. There’s actually a few problems facing kids that seem to be on the mend.

Pregnancy

The teen pregnancy rate has fallen. Pew Research cited that one of the reasons for the decline is because of TV Shows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom.”

At the same time, teens and snake people are adopting a more conservative attitude toward abortion. Many young people today are more Pro-Life than their parents.

Tobacco use down

It took 20 years, but teens have finally ditched cigarettes. Tobacco use is one third what it used to be.

Experts aren’t exactly sure why tobacco use is down. But given the rise in vaping, it would indicate that they’ve taken to an alternative addiction.

Safe Space VS Smart Space

Surprisingly, in spite of a nationwide spike in heroin and opioid abuse, the rate of drug abuse by teens is also down.

It may be another case of favoring an alternative addiction.

A theory being floated is that the reason for the decrease in teen drug abuse could be an addiction to their smartphones!

An article citing scientific research from the NY Times explains.

The possibility is worth exploring…because use of smartphones and tablets has exploded over the same period that drug use has declined.

“…scientists say interactive media appears to play to similar impulses as drug experimentation, including sensation-seeking and the desire for independence.

…Or it might be that gadgets simply absorb a lot of time that could be used for other pursuits, including partying

...Dr. Volkow described interactive media as “an alternative reinforcer” to drugs,…“teens can get literally high when playing these games.”

…Dr. Silvia Martins, a substance abuse expert at Columbia University who has already been exploring how to study the relationship of internet and drug use among teenagers, called the theory “highly plausible.”...“Playing video games, using social media, that fulfills the necessity of sensation seeking, their need to seek novel activity,” Dr. Martins said, but added of the theory: “It still needs to be proved.”

If proven true, it could open the door for an entirely new way to treat drug and alcohol addiction.

And not just for teens. It could help others who turn to drugs to ease despair and a sense of hopelessness. Of course an improved job market and economy will help with that as well.

However, research suggests that smartphones and tablets are not healthy for babies and toddlers. There are unhealthy effects from too much screen exposure. It’s important for brain and emotional development to engage in physical activity and social interaction. Sleep disorders are also a concern.

Finally, it’s important to remember that kids aren’t the only ones addicted to smartphones. You know the saying, Do as I say, not as I do. Parents are being told to put down their cellphones and pay more attention to their kids.

Did this make you feel a little bit better about kids’ smartphone addiction? Comment below!

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