Ask any parent of a teenager about their child's use of apps connected to the Internet and you will probably receive some jaw-dropping comments.
Lately, many parents have taken notice that their child is rarely seen without a cell phone clutched in their hands. Perhaps they've realized that his handheld device has become an extension of their personality? A portal into a new world that is controlled by their actions?
Countless parents are noticing changes in their children, gradually realizing that teenagers are developing addictions.
Today, almost all teens living in the United States have access to the Internet and social media.
Whatever their app preference, teens continue to connect and hashtag over their morning bowl of Cheerios, while driving to class, or even during the middle of the night when they are supposed to be sleeping.
But what are the implications of these addictions?
Many of today's teens are easily distracted from school work, social interactions, family bonding times, and vital life functions like sleeping or eating. So it must be known that app addiction amongst teens is an emerging trend to not take lightly.
At first, social media may appear innocent, but app-addicted teens can face serious health consequences caused by distracted living.
The average teen possesses the ability to check status updates seven days a week, from anywhere, and at any given time of day. This connectivity potentially hotwires the brain for instant gratification leading to more addictions later in life.
This app addicted compulsion can easily consume someone, driving the need for instant updates and constant access. The fast paced environment encouraged by apps can trigger addictive behaviors and fuel the need for more stimulation.
To help understand the state of teenagers and the emerging dependence on apps, examine the data in the accompanying info-graphic.
Amy Williams is a journalist and former social worker, specializing in teen behavioral health. She believes that, in our digital age, it's time for parents and educators to make sure parents and students alike are educated about technology and social media use, hoping to inform others through her writing. You can follow her on Twitter.