The Teenage Chronologues: Part Two ‘Addicted’

For anyone who didn’t read The Teenage Chronologues: Part 1 ‘Boyfriends’, this is my new series which documents chat and overheard conversations with the teens. It’s a play on words chronicling the monologue and dialogue, hence chronologues, which enables us a beautiful (sometimes, yes it’s been known to happen) and mind-blowing (most of the time!) insight into this wonderful age group that we call teenagers!

This week’s chronologue is all about mobile phones, no forget that … it’s all about the resulting teen separation anxiety when pulled apart from their mobile phone. So much so, that I reckon there should be a whole new medical term for this phenomenon … oh wait, there is, just Googled it … Nomophobia (no more phone phobia)! Wow, who knew that?!

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One study by Rahman (2015) found that when teens were separated from their phones they experienced stress and anxiety. She also found that blood pressure and heart rates were elevated amongst those without their phone, concluding that not having a phone around is stressful. When separated from their phones, Rahman found that teenager’s skills such as memory, attention and response time were actually worse when without their phone, thus finding that being separated from a phone does cause stress and decreased attention span. Incredible!

Now, with this is mind, separating a teen from their phone takes immense courage by the parent and causes such a reactionary response of rapid escalating diabolical behaviour that I would encourage anyone considering such removal to think very carefully before proceeding!

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So, picture the scene … Saturday family movie and takeout night … two parents, two teens and one preteen snuggled down on the sofa … movie starts … opening music hasn’t even finished and a phone starts vibrating … thank goodness not mine as husband had something near an apoplectic fit … and the lovely happy family scene starts to go a little something like this …

Husband: Phones. Kitchen … NOW!

Teen 1: No it’s OK I’ll pop it under the cushion.

Husband: Kitchen NOW!

Teen 2: Dad it’s OK I’ve turned it to silent.

Husband: If I see either of you looking at your phone it will go in the fire.

Teen 1: Well that’s just ridiculous as it will only end up costing you money.

Husband: How do you figure that? You won’t be getting a new one. He means it – tone of voice is everything here.

Teen 1: Oh my God I just want to text my boyfriend … Helen (she calls me that when really trying to make a point!) tell him!

Me: Think best you pop it in the Kitchen … both of you. I feel their pain but Husband is not joking about the fire.

Teen 2: OH MY GOOOOOOOOD we aren’t even looking at them … they are just next to us.

Teen 1 to Teen 2: I can’t even deal with this. We aren’t looking at them. We aren’t even texting. What is the problem? Tapping her foot excessively, lips pursed and a look that would make the Ice Queen shiver.

Teen 2: Can’t cope. Throws arms down on sofa. This is SO unfair.

Husband: I’ve warned you … one look at the phone and it will go in the fire.

Teen 2: Shuddup, shuddup, shuddup we heard you the first 50 times!

Teen 1: actual out loud groaning.

Now, I’d like to point out here that I have really nice kids. I know everyone thinks that about their children but, seriously, mine are great … most of the time … usually mature, gorgeous, conscientious and don’t really give me too much of a hard time but this behaviour happened … no banter, no sarcasm but genuine mobile phone separation anxiety … did it shock me just how difficult it was for them not to look at their phones for the duration of a movie? No, not really because I’m as guilty … and it raises some serious issues about addressing this obsession … Rahman’s findings were definitely showcased in our house on this particular night.

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I know people have spoken about social media detoxing and I think perhaps I’m going to have to consider this for my kids. However, if I want them to do it I’m going to have to take part too so I’m not sure I’ll be looking into it too rapidly … how bad is that? … perhaps Rahman also needs to perform the same research on a group of blogging mums … just saying!

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62 thoughts on “The Teenage Chronologues: Part Two ‘Addicted’

  1. I am totally addicted to my phone, and will admitt that I have been on it to the point of it making my eyes hurt on more than one occasion! (Oops!)

    The trouble is I know I can go without if I wanted, when in out I don’t touch it and sometimes when the batteries goes I will leave it off plugged in so that I feel like I’ve had a couple of hours back, BUT when that happens also just so happens to be when the most people try to contact me!

    Lu xx

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    1. Oh Lucy I can’t understand how the battery goes down! But you’re right – it does make you feel like you’ve reconnected with the real world again – I think it is so important to do that so you get those hours for you with no tempting notification or ringing. Thank you for your comment lovely xx

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  2. Love this series! I am totally addicted to my phone too – my other half hates it especially as the pre-teen in the house is addicted to his too lol! This made me laugh very much, especially how your daughter calls you Helen when trying to make a point, brilliant 🙂 xx #triballove

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    1. Oh thank you, Bridie – so kind of you to say – I’m glad I started it! Hmmm the Helen is being used more and more these days – I get lots of ‘oh, Helen’ when i’ve done something wrong! Glad you recognise your own addiction – my husband hates it too – I have to pretend I’m answering a VERY IMPORTANT EMAIL! Thank you so much for your comment lovely xx

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  3. Oh I read this last night and I thought it was brilliant. Phone addiction is actually really common and I think I may have it too – eeeeks! When I was a secondary school teacher they were the bane of my life. If you ever saw one then you had to remove it and give it in to the school office and the parents then had to come in to get it released. I am pleased to say that I only had to do it once to one teenage girl but that was sooo painful. The girl was hysterical and when pushed the cause of her hysteria was that she was worried that she was going to miss something. I hate to say it but I felt her pain……#bigpinklink

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    1. Isn’t it shocking that we feel it too – I am completely lost without my phone and constantly feel the need to check – I need therapy I think! Poor girl – I understand her pain too – but it’s not healthy is it? But I’m not sure I’m going to do anything about it soon. I remember once coming off of fb for a while and I felt free – I need to hold on to the feeling – just not easy! Thank you so much for your comment lovely xx

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  4. I found this quite funny! I am also pretty tied to my phone and would have a hard time detoxing. Question when did yours first get a phone. Only curious cause mine is 2 and I wish I coukd hold off until high school. Although it would be hard here because it seems like every 9 year old has an iphone.

    Thanks for the funny and informative post! #TribalLove

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    1. Always secondary school was my rule – they do not need one before that – crazy that they think they do! We have to remember that we never had them as kids! Thank you for your comment and let me know if you ever do detox! x

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  5. I am seriously addicted! In the early newborn days where you hardly leave the chair you are feeding in I got used to constantly being on it and now I can’t seem to stop, especially with tribal chat! Think I need to self impose at least a few hours a day when I’m at home where I don’t look at it! #triballove #bigpinklink

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    1. Oh Ellen I so agree – I really think that we should install a couple of hour a day phone free – I obviously do when I’m teaching but that’s different! Thank you so much for your comment lovely xx

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  6. This is a brilliant post-I’m not surprised life has come to the point where phone separation anxiety is a thing, with an actual name!! Mobiles were just getting big when I was in 6th form, and even then not many people had them! I can remember spending hours talking to my friends on the landline-there was even a way you could have a 4 or 5 way conversation!! Even as an adult, I’ve never been that interested in my phone-I got irritated with my husband and his addiction to his! That was… Until I started my blog… And now I feel the full force of phone seperating anxiety all the time, and it’s not something I like!! I was never that person, but part of the territory is having a social media presence, which means constantly uploading, updating (well, you know, obvs, so I don’t need to tell you what’s involved!!) I keep saying I will have a phone free week, but I do freak at the thought! A very thought provoking post Helen, thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink.

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    1. Oh thank you so so much for your lovely comment – I was so shocked at my children’s reaction if I’m really honest as they are good kids but on being threatened with being separated from their phones they became unrecognisable. I love the fact that Homophobia exists – and I totally hear you about the whole blogging obsession with the phone – I say the same about having a phone free week but i’m not rushing it! Thank you for hosting such a fab linky xx

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  7. Have you been listening in on Saturday evenings at our house? I’ve had to let go of the whole phone thing with my two teens but I do turn off their apps at a certain time in the evening. The fact that my eldest doesn’t have a phone at the moment (in hospital) is probably a good thing – it’s been four weeks now! She says that she doesn’t miss it but I imagine there was probably some sort of withdrawal symptoms at the beginning. They really are so addictive aren’t they…and that’s just me!

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    1. Ha ha – I think this was a snapshot into lots of houses with teens. I think you’re probably right about your oldest daughter – there would definitely be some withdrawal symptoms at first and now she probably feels a whole lot freer – really hope she’s doing OK Suzanne, and you of course – actually will dm you later today as wanted to chat to you about something. Thank you so much for your comment x

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  8. Haha i have to admit this sounds like me and my partner i.e being teen 1 and 2. We are constantly glued to our phones and If I would ever forget to take it out with me I would probably lose my mind, how would anyone get in touch with me? I forget that I didn’t have a mobile phone until I was about 15 years old and coped perfectly well, lol #TwinklyTuesday #triballove

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  9. Popping back as that comment sounded a little abrupt and wasn’t meant to be! The banter in your house sounds very like ours, I’d love to watch family TV together, but we just don’t want to see the same things. the only time the kids are with out social media here is on scout camp. I think it is great for them to be put in that position but it only works if their friends don’t have it too.

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    1. Oh not at all! Ha ha glad it’s not just our house then! You’re so right though for them to have that break on camp but with all the children without phones so that they can all enjoy life and not just recording it! I do try to appreciate what it must be like for their generation and don’t want to sound like a ‘mum’ all the time but just sometimes it’s lovely to be in their company without their phones buzzing 10 times a second! Thank you for your second (!) comment xx

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  10. This is so funny and I am sure soooo true of so many households. In Mother’s day, she said that she would spend ages for the landline to ring from a boy she liked so every generation has their thing. She’s ancient though. x #chucklemums

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  11. Brilliant post, at the minute, my OH, the teenager and myself are all sat in a device with BGT in the background not watching it. Ridiculous. The idea of a night without it in front of the telly sounds like a great idea…although as you have right ply pointed out, it is just that, an great idea, in reality it’s not so rosey eh! #triballove #bloggerclubuk xx

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  12. Oh god Helen no!!! I can not sit through a movie or program without my phone next to me or opening up the laptop to “check” something then I spend ages “just” doing something. I am driving my poor hubby mad. Soooooo yes I agree, that study needs to be done on bloggers – or are we morphing into teenagers 😘

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    1. Oh this rally made me chuckle – “just doing something” – I say that all the time too!! I think we are morphing back into teens – hilarious! Thank you for your comment lovely xx

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  13. Haha oh they definitely need to do that research…it can certainly be addictive! I have found myself lately checking my phone even when it hasn’t beeped…what in case something is happening but it has decided not to tell me!? Ooo the fire is a threat and a half isn’t it!? Love this series Helen (I’m really trying to make a point…um not that I’d call you anything else actually…). Thank you for sharing with #FamilyFun

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  14. Ha brilliant! I was in a Costa today waiting for my girl to wake up from nap listening to some teens and I wasn’t sure if I wanted slap them or hug them (sorry, it’s true).. Really made me cringe looking back to my teenage years! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

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    1. Oh ha ha ha – you wait! I reckon slap but when you remember how painful the whole process is then hug! mixed emotions all the time – and that’s just me – can’t imagine how they feel! Thank you for your comment lovely xx

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  15. This conversation could actually happen in our house any night of the week… but our kids are only 1 and 3. It’s my phone that would be getting torched! I am such an addict. I work two days a week (yep a whole two) and my phone is SWITCHED OFF for about 8 whole hours. It’s actually really liberating. During the week I make sure that I take the kids out for a few hours each day without my phone as I know that if we stay home I’ll just be reaching for it all the time! Great post x
    #coolmumclub

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    1. Ha ha I love your honesty – same here to be honest! I love the turning the phone off – really liberating I reckon – not sure if I’m able to but reckon you’d feel really free! Thank you for your comment x

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  16. Haha I love your post!! I’m so glad that someone else attempts to have ‘family nights’ with their teens as well. Ours often start with an argument over what film we are going to watch. My teen daughters often dictate the choice which means that my 10 year old ends up watching something wholly inappropriate and is probably going to end up psychologically damaged just because I want a quite life. Yes, mine do have their phones with them – I am reliably informed that this is ‘mult-tasking’ and is something that I do not understand! Oh great!! #funfriday

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    1. Oh thank you! Ha ha we have the same problem here with film content what with a 16, 14 and 12 year old – very tricky to find something that we all like that is appropriate! Isn’t it funny tough how we are more relaxed with the youngest? I would never have let my oldest watch some material at 12 that my 12 year old watches now – oops! Multi-tasking – oh of course! Thank you so much for your comment x

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  17. we had all sorts of problems like this after our teen got her phone. I’m hopeful that for the next generation if will be less of a novelty they will do better, but who knows what new thing is coming around the corner. #familyfun

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  18. Guilty as charged here too – Rahman should definitely repeat the study on a group of blogging mums – I’m sure the results would be quite similar. Social media detox sounds like it might be a good idea! Hope you managed to get through the movie without any phones ending up in the fire! #triballove

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  19. I know how they feel, I get total separation anxiety when I don’t have my phone. It’s strange because I can deal with not checking it, as long as it’s there!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

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  20. Yep I think this is subconsciously why I held out with my eldest getting a phone. Tbh I’m not happy at all that she has one aged just 11 but of course hubby (who funnily enough doesn’t give a crap about what other people do) caved and let her have one at Christmas as she was so left out of the loop and the only child (so she makes out) not to have one in her class. Who’s the mug who has to police it? Yep me.
    To be fair she handles it well when it’s confiscated for periods at a time. Anyway the ‘this is why’ bit refers to me…as a blogger I am glued to my phone and have enormous difficulty not looking at it during a family meal out or movie night. Awful example.
    I have to say though I admire your hubby for not exploding. I’m sure they are great kids as you say but if one of my kids actually told me to shut up, they’d be heading for the fire along with their ruddy phone! #BigPinkLink

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    1. Oh thank you for your comment! It sounds like you’ve got the balance right though in that she doesn’t mind the phone being taken away. That’s what was so shocking about my girls – they are totally gorgeous but the threat of their phone being taken away turned them into something I did not recognise – even more bloody reason to confiscate them I think – too obsessed! Glad it’s not just me about being glued to phone also … I must think about that detox!

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  21. Omg, we’re a few years away from having teenagers just yet but I can already imagine this happening in our household (right down to Dad saying seriously that he will put the phones in the fire). Ahhhh!
    Am interested to know what ages your kids were when they got their first phones?
    #fortheloveofBLOG

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  22. I enforced a digital detox on the whole family earlier in the year for 5 days. Oh my God you would have thought we were all coming off crack. It was horrendous and it just goes to show how addicted we all are (me included!) Love the dialogue though, I can picture the scene! Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG x

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