• Svetlana Shkolnikova

Smartphones dominate daily life for teens and tweens

Updated: Jan 10, 2018

Gracie Straub, a 12-year-old from Leonia, typically sends more than 100 text messages to her friends and family on her iPhone by the time she goes to bed at 9 p.m. 

She’s not allowed to have the smartphone in her room at night, but it’s her first thought in the morning, said her mother, Melissa Straub, a social media educator. The girl goes straight to her mother's bedroom each morning so that she can see what's going on, Straub said. 

“I don’t know what else to do during the morning,” Gracie explained. 

One day this summer, Gracie spent six hours on her phone, sending texts, posting on Snapchat, checking Instagram and playing the game Hop. 

“I’m trying to get her out of the house … but it’s a lot of trying to get them to put the electronics down,” said Straub, who also has an 8-year-old daughter, Cassidy. “She’d rather sit here and text than have a phone call. Her friend could be right here, and they’re texting each other.” 

It’s a dilemma many parents are familiar with. 

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