Limiting phone addiction…Is there an app for that?

by Lourdes Jack, Reporter

Worst way to start off the day is waking up and not being able to find your phone. The anxiety and little heart attack you get is enough to make anyone go crazy. Being a part of the Millennial generation (born between 1984-2000)  has made worrying and being on a phone as normal as brushing teeth, but to parents it’s a whole new ball game.

“Self-absorbed, impatient, and entitled are personalities that I see a lot of in your generation,” said Patrick Greene, Project Lead the Way teacher. He is blunt, and not totally unfair.

Adults tell me all the time about how kids my age are always on their phones. They say we have become dependent on them as well as addicted. Why? “Because I said so,”  they answer. I couldn’t help but want to prove them wrong. That’s when I launched my full on investigation. There just has to be an app for that.

Finding clues to my personal Scooby Doo mystery, I found the app Moments. There were other apps like Break Free, but the reviews were terrible, so I didn’t see why I would try it. Moment is an app for IOS users that records and helps notify them how many hours a day they spend on their phones.  The app asks the user to take a screenshot of the amount of battery each app uses and with access to your camera. The app graphs how often you’re on the phone each day.

Moment has to run on your phone all the time, in the background, so it can collect consistent data. To me it seems like the app is keeping you off your phone, but it is also lowering the daily life of the battery. The app gives you trophies for different amounts of time you aren’t on your phone, which is suppose to encourage you to continue to use it less.  

Overall, the app did manage to tell me how much time I was spending on my phone. I learned I spend more than 8 hours on my phone a day! It was crazy news and it did help me be more aware of how long I used the phone. Even with its pluses, the app is a lot to manage. You really have to want to change your phone addiction to use this app.  

“As humans we like things to be convenient, but if you really want to change you’re going to have to take a stand to decide where you want be as an individual–hiding behind a screen or communicating comfortably with people you see,” said Samantha Murphy, Psychology and Modern World History teacher.

There are apps that can help teens with their phone addictions, but is there one a teen would constantly use? The answer is no, or at least I haven’t found one so far. These apps just take way too much effort to really push a teen to change their phone usage.  

Phones are just something we use. As great as these things are, with its constant usage comes its curse.The curse does lead to cell phone addiction. Ever heard of dopamine? It’s a neurotransmitter released in the body when an action or substance makes your brain feel good.

Common sense media released a poll on May 19, 2016 where they found that 50% of American teens admit that they “feel addicted” to their smartphones. Another study showed that 70% of parents and teens say that they have argued about smartphone usage.

People get addicted to drugs, drinking, and gambling and from the high levels of dopamine that are released. Snapchatting every minute of the day to “keep up to date,” and sending texts expecting immediate responses from people are what they say are examples of this addiction.

“I don’t believe in self absorption. I like to be helpful, and work in a group.  I’ve never really liked that kind of personality and I don’t think I’ve grown into it either,” said Gabriella Juarez, a 2000 high school graduate and a Millennial friend.

Cell phones can create addictions, but only if you let yourself get to that level of dependency. Everyone is in denial when asked if they are addicted to their phones that is a normal response.  I know I don’t have an addiction. “The question is do you?”