New survey finds 50 percent of teens admit addiction to mobile devices

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A new survey by Common Sense Media reports that 50 percent of teens admit they are addicted to their mobile devices. (KGO-TV )

If you think your kids spend too much time on mobile devices, you're not alone. In a new survey by Common Sense Media, 50 percent of teens admit they are addicted.

Parents are very candid about the amount of time their kids spend on mobile devices.

"It's like their life-line. They don't know what to do without it, they're always on it," said parent Erika Demma.

The Common Sense Media poll confirms that. Fifty percent of kids aged 12 to 18 felt they were addicted to their mobile devices. A larger number of parents, 59 percent, agreed.

"Anything new, I'll check my emails, or I'll check my texts or Facebook, there's so many things to check, said Hannah Hansen, an extreme mobile user.

"It's not a technical clinical diagnosis of addiction. Obviously, addiction is a word we throw around. They feel obligated to check their phones all the time. It's the frequency, they know it's interfering with other stuff they want to do with their lives," said Caroline Knorr of Common Sense Media.

Outside studies point out that those constantly on mobile devices show the same kind of behavior that a drug addict might display and may need more to get the same level of enjoyment.

"They don't have the willpower, the mindset to not be trapped and not just be, I don't know what the word is, it's like they're in a coma," said parent John Perricone.

Apparently teens can't keep away from their devices for very long. Sixty-nine percent of parents said they checked their devices at least hourly, teens, 78 percent.

"I do, I'm a realtor, so I'm on it all of the time, so yes I am very guilty. My kids grew up with me with my cellphone so I'm part of the blame," Demma said.

As a parent you are not alone and there are solutions.

"We can use contracts. At Common Sense Media, we have a contract where everyone in the family has to say when they are going to use it and when they are not going to use their devices," Knorr said.

The poll involved more than 1,200 interviews with parents and their children.
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