It is ironic that parents are quick to fault their kids for spending so much time on phones whereas this was a trait copied and learned from them. This present generation of adults, are from a phone addiction culture and kids mimic what they see, so while most parents think it’s wise to set rules they fail to abide by same rules, giving rise to a total phone time abuse that affects real life social relationships and promotes an online monitored and managed artificial social media relationships.

What is the Limit?

6th of August, 2001, will forever remain a memorable time for Nigerians as it marked a time when ECONET (now Airtel), officially launched its services, followed closely by MTN, Glo and much later by Etisalat (now 9mobile), mobile phones have stolen the hearts of the average Nigerian.

The numbers of Nigeria’s mobile subscribers have reached 150 million, and the number of its internet users has climbed to 97.2 million at penetration rates of 81% and 53%, respectively. According to a report published by Jumia, Nigeria’s largest online retailer, Africa has 960 million mobile subscribers and 216 million internet users at penetration rates of 80% and 18%, respectively. The increased mobile internet appetite in Nigeria is an insatiable one as most people use their phones more than they think and much more than they think they do.

Research has shown excess phone use can impair attention, productivity and memory alertness, dampen creative thinking, increase stress levels, reduce sleep quality and lead to “cognitive errors” like forgetting meetings and walking into people.

How much phone time is too much?

Is there a standard for the amount of time spent on a phone?

The answers to both question is none.

You should only use your phone when you really need it. Not too much and not too little.

Kids – Guilty or Victims?

Ironically most parents actually pushed their kids into this mobile addiction unconsciously and indirectly. In a bid to distract their kids so they can have work time or rest time, parents often give their phones to their kids or even go ahead and buy for them. We have heard stories of adults who leave their kids unattended just so they can watch a soap opera or have a chit chat with a friend.

Dads would most certainly get their kids a phone so they can leave theirs alone and allow them quality and undisturbed time to work.

What most parents don’t know is that by shifting attention of the kids from them to the mobile phones, these mobile phones have captured and stolen the attention of the children who only craved the attention of the parents but instead got a phone who would never say no or scream “Go away!” Children are victims of unwanted or unreciprocated attention of adults who would rather spend hours watching videos and entertainment gossip news on their phones than their kids.

So who is really guilty?

Adding a little pink to the different shades of grey

One minute or even a second can make a huge difference. Attention should be placed more on the shades of grey of incessant phone use and realize the harmful effects it’s causing in relationships with your children and even your home. Heavy usage of phones isn’t in itself a bad thing because some people actually work with their phones, while others, their laptops serve as their office but when it crosses the line and starts affecting your personal life and health, then it becomes problematic

 A survey carried out to understand how Lagosians are becoming addicted to smartphones revealed that about 71 percent parents admitted that their teenage children are addicted to their phones, while about 65 percent teenagers confessed about to being obsessed with their phones.

To raise model kids, first and foremost be a model adult. Don’t always be ensconced in your cocoon because of smartphone addiction due to obsession to your handsets. The fact that we are living in a jet age doesn’t mean we should always suffer jet lag. It’s time to mix a little bit of pink to the different shades of grey use of our handsets so we don’t end up raising smartphones zombies.