According to Ofcom, one in five teens spend over seven hours a day on their mobile phone, and, on average, people in the UK check their phones every 12 minutes. (Here’s a challenge: will you get to the end of this blog post without giving your mobile a sneaky peek?)
These are shocking statistics. And the news that Brighton5 is working to turn the negative side of teen smartphone addiction on its head – and encourage kids to explore why they’re so dependent on their devices – means that we’ve spent quite a bit of time this month giving interviews about teens and their smartphone addiction.
We’re no experts, but we are parents. We’ve watched our teens spend hours glued to their phones, worrying that they’re disrupting their sleep patterns (could we, should we confiscate their devices at night?); wondering what they’re watching and who they’re communicating with on Snapchat or WhatsApp or whatever-other-app-I-haven’t-even-heard-of-yet! Parents who grew up in an era without the constant, needy buzz going off in their pockets can find it hard to understand their teen and what their device means to them. Brighton5’s Daisy Cresswell talked to her daughter about the time she confiscated her device and her daughter described feeling “naked and stripped” as well as being “really bored”.
Brighton5 wants to give teens the opportunity to use their phones and technology for good. We’re going to get them to create amazing content that they can share with their friends and peers to help them better understand the possible downsides of their dependence on their phones, and to make positive change.
Thoroughly enjoyed chatting with @DannyPike on @BBCSussex this morning about our @TheBrighton5 teen project and partnership with @sussex_police So far a very productive week! pic.twitter.com/SzN433Rqnj
— Daisy Cresswell (@842Daisy) September 26, 2018