Smartphones and Loneliness in School

There is a sad irony in the fact that today’s children and teens have more tools at their disposal to stay connected with others, yet there is a growing epidemic of loneliness. New research from San Diego State University has found that the proportion of fifteen to sixteen year old teens who feel alienated has tripled over the last twenty years. Fully one-third of our teens say they feel alienated from their parents, which is up from ten percent in 2000. Researchers say these increases coincide with the use of smartphones and social media by teens. And, to take it a step further, kids report feeling increased loneliness while in school for the simple reason that they are isolating themselves from their flesh and blood friends by keeping their eyes on their phones. We should lament these developments and respond by setting limits on where, when, and how long a teen can use their smartphone. Parents, exercise your God-given authority even when you might receive pushback from your kids.