44% of young people say they feel anxious when they don’t have their phone

44% of young people say they feel anxious when they don't have their phone

It is sometimes difficult for young and old to part with their phone. And yet, while a majority of them feel happier without it, more than four in ten feel anxiety.

“I love you, neither.” It’s a toxic relationship that young people have with their phones. A Pew Research study, entitled “How Teens and Parents Approach Screen Time”*, conducted among American adolescents aged 13 to 17 and their parents, shows how young people have mixed feelings towards their smartphones and their well-being. Although 72% report feeling peaceful and 74% happy when away from their phone, 44% admit to feeling anxiety when separated from their device. 40% say they are upset and 39% feel alone.

Young girls are more likely to feel anxious than boys when they don’t have their phones. In fact, 45% of young girls say they feel alone when they don’t have their phone, compared to 34% of boys.

Despite everything, teenagers are well aware that they spend too much time on their smartphone (38%) and that they use social media excessively (27%), compared to only a tiny portion believing that they spend too little time on it. time (5% and 8% respectively).

More young girls admit to spending too much time on their smartphones than boys (44% vs. 33%), but also on social media (32% vs. 22%). However, the majority believe they spend the necessary time on their smartphone (51%) and even more on social media (64%).

The study also reveals that young people are aware of the negative effects of cell phones on their social lives. Although 69% of teens say cell phones make it easier to pursue their hobbies and interests, only 30% think it helps them learn good social skills.

Screen time questioned

To avoid these excesses, adolescents have decided to reduce their screen time. Almost four in ten teens (39%) said they are reducing their time online on social media, and directly on their phone (36%). A trend that remains minimal since the vast majority have not changed their habits regarding the time spent on their smartphone (63%) or on social media (60%). Here again, girls are ahead of boys in reducing their use the most. Around four in ten girls have reduced their time on their smartphones and social networks compared to around a third of boys.

A logical situation according to the researchers of the Pew Research study who declare: “Teenagers who report spending too much time on social networks and smartphones are more likely to report having reduced their use of each of them. For example , about six in ten teens who say they spend too much time on social media say they have reduced their use (57%). This percentage is much higher than the 32% of those who say they spend too little or adequate time on social media. social networks”.

Among adults too, time spent in front of screens can be a problem, especially in the evening before going to bed. According to a US News sleep quality survey, 44% of American adults say screen time in bed is one of their worst bedtime habits. And yet, 29% use screens to sleep, according to the US News’ Sleep Quality Survey. 19% of American adults say they stop using screen devices more than 30 minutes before going to sleep. Additionally, 20% of American adults say they stop using these devices 20 to 30 minutes before bed.

*Study conducted among 1,453 adolescents aged 13 to 17 and their parents in the United States between September 26 and October 23, 2023.

**Study carried out among 1,200 Americans over 18 years old in September 2023.