Recently in South Korea, as the number of teenagers who own smartphones is increasing, the seriousness of the teen smartphone addiction is increasing as well. If you approach a middle or high school, it is not difficult for you to see students looking at their smartphones and texting their friends while walking. The time it takes to walk is too lengthy for them not to care about the notifications they’re receiving. Ji Woo Lee, a high school student in Incheon, said “I’ve never felt that I am in danger because I text while walking.”
According to a recent survey of about 1000 students in Korea, 72% of them own a smartphone and spend approximately 5 to 6 hours a day using it.
The main cause of such smartphone addiction is use of social media services such as Kakao Talk, Line, and Facebook. Because users are so easily able to socialize with other people with these apps, they tend to spend most of their time communicating with others on their phones. However, excessive use of social media is likely to cause communication difficulties and personal relationship issues in real life.
Moreover, the of use of smartphones might be detrimental to the academic life of students. Ho Joon Lee, another high school student in Incheon, said “I sometimes fail to prepare for my exam well because I cannot stop playing with my smartphone. I knew I shouldn’t and it will ruin my exam, but I just couldn’t stop.”
It can be easily said that students should just learn how to manage their time using smartphones. It is understandable that a teenager could easily feel socially isolated because all of his or her friends use smartphones to talk to each other. This issue should not be underestimated, and all schools, parents, and students should try to find a way to ease this so that students can have better social lives.