School & District Management

The U.S. Isn’t the Only Country Where Kids Are Addicted to Cell Phones, Report Finds

By Alyson Klein — October 01, 2019 1 min read
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The U.S. isn’t the only country that’s worried about a potential cell phone addiction. In Mexico, two-thirds of parents and teens say they use their mobile device “almost all the time.” And about half of teens and parents say they check their device at least once an hour.

That’s according to a survey from Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based non-profit that focuses on children, technology, and media and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.

And half of Mexican teens and nearly half of Mexican parents say that they feel addicted to their mobile device. That’s more than any other country Common Sense studied. Just 39 percent of U.S. teens say they feel addicted to their device. That’s compared to 44 percent in the United Kingdom and 45 percent in Japan.

What’s more, about three quarters of Mexican teens and parents say they feel distracted at least once a day by their mobile device. That’s significantly more than in the U.S and the U.K, where closer to half of teens and parents say they feel addicted.

And more Mexican parents than U.S. parents say they argue with their child at least once a day about their cell phone use. About 30 percent of parents in Mexico reported this problem, compared to 23 in the U.S., 22 percent in the U.K. and 19 percent in Japan.

But one teen who has lived in both countries said she didn’t notice much of a difference.

“I believe my friends in Mexico City could be considered ‘addicted’ as well as my friends in Los Angeles because it is somewhat of a metropolis--a big city with lots of things going on and lots of things to keep up with,” wrote Sofia Nagy, a 15-year-old student at Arcadia High School in Los Angeles.

The report is based on a representative online survey of 1,226 parents and teens across Mexico. It was administered May 15 through June 19 of this year.

Image: Getty

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.