We need to talk
Smartphones are amazing.
Smartphones can be addicting.
How to take control.
by ANDREA DOWNING PECK
oday, an estimated 90 percent of
teens own a smartphone. While
smartphones provide students
with a level of personal security
and can be a helpful academic tool,
phones can be distractions in the class-
room and when students are doing home-
work or preparing to sleep. Making
matters worse, studies show the mere
presence of a cellphone can be distracting.
Smartphones entice us using push
notifications, bright colors, bells, swoosh
sounds, refresh and infinite scrolling.
TThey are designed to be addicting, says Costco member Catherine Price, author of How to Break Up with Your Phone (Ten
Speed Press, 2018; not available at
Costco). “Nothing is by chance,” she says,
noting the smartphone’s resemblance to
a slot machine. “That is crucial for peo-
ple to realize.”
Forty-seven percent of parents fear
their children have an unhealthy relation-
ship with their mobile devices, a 2018
Common Sense Media survey reports.
“If a child is on their phone a lot,
Click here for a short
video on what you
can discover when
you disconnect. (See
page 11 for details.)