Screen Education’s research over the last five years has found that smartphone addiction among youth corrodes the environment at our schools. Its more recent research has found that smartphone addiction among adults similarly corrodes the environment at our workplaces.
The fact that not just young people, but adults, are struggling to control their smartphone addiction — even at work — raises the following question: should we use bold, broad-based approaches to help people develop healthy screen habits while they are young?
To answer this question Screen Education partnered with Innovate MR and statistician Glenn Stark to survey three relevant stakeholder groups — high school students, high school teachers, and workplace managers.
When asked whether they believe smartphones should have built-in AI applications that sense when young people are using their smartphone in an addictive way, and that then help them regain control:
- 86% of high school teachers agreed
- 82% of workplace managers agreed
- 58% of high school students agreed
When asked whether they believe school systems should teach students, as they progress through each grade level, how to control their screen time:
- 91% of workplace managers agreed
- 81% of high school teachers agreed
- 66% of high school students agreed
When asked whether they believe there should be regulations requiring the companies that create the most addictive apps — games, social media, streaming video — to place daily time limits on young people to reduce their daily screen time:
- 70% of workplace managers agreed
- 69% of high school teachers agreed
- 46% of high school students agreed
When asked whether they believe society should place greater emphasis on cultivating personal qualities that would help youth control their screen time, such as discipline, self-control, sacrifice, the drive to achieve:
- 95% of high school teachers agreed
- 92% of workplace managers agreed
- 86% of high school students agreed
According to Michael Mercier, President of Screen Education, “We’ve been having a national conversation about addressing smartphone addiction for five years. This research reveals that very strong majorities of people are fed up with the enormous toll smartphone addiction is taking, and that they therefore support broad, bold solutions that limit children’s screen time, and that help them develop the ability to self-limit their screen time.”
Other issues examined in the study include the following:
- How widespread the problem of smartphone addiction is
- The myriad consequences of smartphone addiction
- How frustrated students and employees are by their smartphone addiction
- The extent to which high school students, high school teachers, and employees want to address smartphone addiction
All three surveys were fielded during the summer of 2021, included a combined total of 1,388 respondents, and had a margin of error of 4-5%.