When does excessive teenage phone use cross the line and become an addiction? How much time is too much time to be consumed in a cellular device?

“I spend 24/7 on my phone just listening to music. I’m trying to cut back though because I want to stop living life through a phone,” senior Clayton Smailes said.

The average college teenagers on average spend around nine hours a day on their phones, according to Science News for Students. That is more time than adults usually spend a day at work.

One reason why teenage cell phone consumption can be so high is due to the easy accessibility according to senior Jaida Thompson.

“Phones are so convenient. Whenever I’m bored, no matter where I am, I can just whip it out and listen to music or play a game or text my friends,” senior Jaida Thompson said. “I use my cellphone for everything and that’s probably why I’m so addicted.”

Cellphones can be distracting to students.

“I use my phone when I wake up and when I’m supposed to be doing my homework. Time goes by really fast when I’m checking all my accounts. I look up and hours have flown by and I have procrastinated my night away,” senior Kennedi Sidberry said.

Teachers have also noticed an increase in cell phone use in the classroom. Science teacher Brian McCarthy has implemented strict rules to combat the distraction of cellphones.

“The phones are too much of a distraction for many students. Students are not paying attention to what’s going on in class because they are using their phones and as a result their grades are lower than they should be,” McCarthy said.

Excessive cell phone users can be classified as addicts when the person needs to see their cell phone more and more to get the same desired effect. Also when their cellphone was removed and they exhibit classic withdrawal symptoms like anger, tension, depression, irritability and restlessness according to psychguides.com.

“Every time my mom would leave the house, I would go get my phone and respond to all my texts and get on social media. Then I found my old iPod and started using that instead,” senior Sarah Chamberlain said. “I literally couldn’t go two days without my phone. I knew I was going to get it back, but I felt so empty handed and alone without it.”

Teens are also juggling balancing the responsibilities of driving with the fun and excitement of texting.
With 11 teens dying every day from the consequences of texting and driving, H-F’s Driver’s Ed classes are trying to do their part by explaining the risk to teenagers.

“We have an entire unit devoted to the topic, but students will hear about it all semester long. I believe it is a topic that you can never hear enough about. And it’s not just about texting, talking and driving takes your full concentration away from the road as well,“ Drivers ed teacher Matt Ramos said.