Editors note: This is part one of a two part series
On any given day you will see many people walking with their head facing the ground. Your first thought is that they are in deep thought or maybe they are depressed.
You stop by the beauty shop or barbershop and most everyone have their heads down as in a deep trance or taking a nap.
Better yet, you see a couple sitting at a restaurant; it’s obvious it’s a dinner date. With heads bowed it appears that they are saying a blessing over the food.
All three assumptions are incorrect. Their faces are buried in the screens of their cell phones. They are totally oblivious of those around them or their surroundings.
In the past few years this has become an epidemic that most people deny. But research is proving it to be a fact, there is such a thing as screen addition and it is taking our society by storm.
According to bankmycell.com, just on cell phone screens alone the average smartphone user checks their cell phone 47 times a day. Eighty-five percent of users will check their cell phone while speaking with friends and family. Eighty percent of cell phone users check their phone within one hour of waking or going to sleep.
It is obvious just from the facts above that cell phone users are addicted to their screens. Most of them appear as dependent on that screen as a baby is for its pacifier. They have to have it in their hand every waking moment of their day. Like any other person who is addicted they will always deny it.
Bankmycell.com gives some vital statistics of someone that might be addicted to their screens.
The average time spent on smartphones is two hours and fifty-one minutes per day. A smartphone and tablet user will spend four hours and thirty-three minutes per day. The average user will spend one hour and sixteen minutes on the top five social media apps. An average user will tap, swipe or click their phone 2,617 times-a-day. Twenty-two percent of smartphone users 18-29 years old check their phones every few minutes.
One of the best ways to determine if you are addicted to screens, try turning it off for 24 hours, or better yet, get it out of your sight. If you make it without withdrawals you’re probably not addicted.
Nationally renowned psychotherapist and school counselor Tom Kersting says that the latest study shows that Americans are averaging nine to ten hours of screen time per day and that our devices have crossed over from distraction to addiction.
Kersting is the leader on this topic today and appears regularly on the most popular talk and news shows. He has hosted television series and shows for A&E Network, Fox News, National Geographic Channel, Food Network and Oprah’s Wellness Network.
He has just released a new book called Disconnected where he shows that Americans spend more time in the artificial world and not enough time in the real world. He also points out that screen time is affecting our brain with radiation that can produce brain tumors and lower our emotional intelligence.
Kersting will be speaking in person at First Baptist Church Henderson on Sunday September 8 at noon where he will be talking about this issue of disconnection and screen addiction. The Church is located on West Main Downtown Henderson.