Sunday May 26, 2019

Nearly Half of the Teenagers in the US and Japan are ‘Addicted’ to Smartphones, Says New Report

Nowadays, one of the worst things that can happen to us is, like, 'Oh, I left my phone at home,'

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Brian Vega, left, Peyton Ruiz, second from left, and Max Marrero, right, check their smartphones at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) (VOA)

California, October 12, 2017 : About half of teenagers in the United States and Japan say they are addicted to their smartphones.

University of Southern California (USC) researchers asked 1,200 Japanese about their use of electronic devices. The researchers are with the Walter Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Their findings were compared with an earlier study on digital media use among families in North America.

“Advances in digital media and mobile devices are changing the way we engage not only with the world around us, but also with the people who are the closest to us,” said Willow Bay, head of the Annenberg School.

The USC report finds that 50 percent of American teenagers and 45 percent of Japanese teens feel addicted to their smartphones.

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Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, Sept. 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. VOA

“This is a really big deal,” said James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, an organization that helped with the study. “Just think about it, 10 years ago we didn’t even have smartphones.”

Sixty-one percent of Japanese parents believe their children are addicted to the devices. That compares to 59 percent of the American parents who were asked.

Also, more than 1-in-3 Japanese parents feel they have grown dependent on electronic devices, compared to about 1-in-4 American parents.

Leaving your phone at home is ‘one of the worst things’

“Nowadays, one of the worst things that can happen to us is, like, ‘Oh, I left my phone at home,’” said Alissa Caldwell, a student at the American School in Tokyo. She spoke at the USC Global Conference 2017, which was held in Tokyo.

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People look at their smartphones in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. VOA

A majority of Japanese and American parents said their teenagers used mobile devices too much. But only 17 percent of Japanese teens agreed with that assessment. In the United States, 52 percent of teens said they are spending too much time on mobile devices.

Many respond immediately to messages

About 7-in-10 American teens said they felt a need to react quickly to mobile messages, compared to about half of Japanese teens.

In Japan, 38 percent of parents and 48 percent of teens look at and use their devices at least once an hour. In the United States, 69 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens say they use their devices every hour.

Naturally, that hourly usage stops when people are sleeping, the researchers said.

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Young people using smartphones. (Photo courtesy Kuvituskuvat via Flickr) (VOA)

The devices are a greater cause of conflict among teens and parents in the United States than in Japan. One-in-3 U.S. families reported having an argument every day about smarthphone use. Only about 1-in-6 Japanese families say they fight every day over mobile devices.

Care more about devices than your children?

But 20 percent of Japanese teens said they sometimes feel that their parents think their mobile device is more important than they are. The percentage of U.S. teens saying they feel this way is 6 percent.

In the United States, 15 percent of parents say their teens’ use of mobile devices worsens the family’s personal relationships. Eleven percent of teens feel their parents’ use of smarthphones is not good for their relationship.

The USC research was based on an April 2017 study of 600 Japanese parents and 600 Japanese teenagers. Opinions from American parents and teenagers were collected in a study done earlier by Common Sense Media.

Bay, the Annenberg School of Communications dean, said the research raises critical questions about the effect of digital devices on family life.

She said the cultural effects may differ from country to country, but “this is clearly a global issue.” (VOA)

Next Story

Mobile Networks Suspending Orders for Huawei Smartphones: Report

The US export ban has forced Google to cut Huawei’s new devices off from its Android ecosystem

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Logo of Huawei is seen on the advert in front of the local offices of Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

Mobile networks in Asia and Europe have issued suspending orders for Huawei smartphones following the US decision last week to restrict the company’s access to American technology, the media reported.

The inclusion of Huawei on an export blacklist means the Chinese company can no longer source software or components from US suppliers without a license. Existing devices are unaffected but the restrictions threaten future Huawei products and its leading position in building super-fast next generation 5G networks, CNN reported.

Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, said on Wednesday that it had paused pre-orders in the UK for the Huawei Mate 20X (5G) smartphone.

“This is a temporary measure while uncertainty exists regarding new Huawei 5G devices,” a company spokesperson told CNN Business.

The UK’s biggest carrier, EE, is also delaying the introduction of Huawei’s new smartphones. The company had touted the Mate 20X in a preview of its 5G network last week.

Japan’s top mobile operators took similar steps against another device, the Huawei P30 Lite, earlier on Wednesday. The phone was scheduled to launch in the country later this month.

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A woman stands at a Huawei booth featuring 5G technology at the PT Expo in Beijing, China, Sept. 28, 2018. VOA

Leading Japanese telecoms firm NTT Docomo announced that it has stopped taking reservations for the phone, and is “looking into the impact of the US restrictions”, Docomo spokesperson Yoshikumi Kuroda said.

Rival carriers KDDI and SoftBank Corp. said they will delay the release of the new Huawei phone.

The suspension of orders is the first tangible evidence that US President Donald Trump’s administration’s latest escalation of its campaign against Huawei on grounds of national security is hurting the company’s business, CNN reported.

Also Read- Britain’s First 5G Service to be Launched in May

Huawei overtook Apple last year to become the world’s No. 2 smartphone brand behind Samsung, and it relies on markets outside of China for half of its sales.

The US export ban has forced Google to cut Huawei’s new devices off from its Android ecosystem.

A temporary reprieve by the US Commerce Department allows Google to service existing Huawei devices for the next 90 days. (IANS)