Are the teens you work with addicted to their phones?  If you work with teenagers, I am guessing your answer is yes.  The real question that matters is, are you addicted to your smart phone?

I bet your first answer is no.  According to a recent mashable article, “Staying connected has become a national obsession, the study found. Nearly 60% of respondents said they don’t go an hour without checking their phones. The younger you are, the stronger that obsession is — 63% of women and 73% of men who make up the millennial generation (ages 18 to 34) said they couldn’t go an hour without checking their phones.”  Over 60% of men and women aged 18-34 couldn’t go an hour without checking their phones.  That is an amazing stat.  There is a problem, and we might very well be addicted to our phones.

Dealing with the problem 

It is easy to point the finger at teenagers and how they use their phones.  The question I have been wrestling with is how do I model behaviour for these teens that I lead?  Do I have clear boundaries when it comes to my phone.  Do I check it multiple times in a youth group night?  Do I check it when I meet one on one with a teen?  The students I work with are watching me, and they are learning behaviour from us!  We need to be intentional when it comes to how we use our phones.

Next week, I will post on how to help teenagers deal with an addiction to their smart phones.  For you, please read this article titled, Should You Take a Digital Sabbath? , and take the below quiz to see if you are addicted to your smart phone.

This test is modified  from the site  Grab a pen/pencil (or just open MemoPad) and keep track of your answers. You can answer either yes or no for each question. When you’re done, tally up all of your yes answers and see how you rate. Leave a comment telling us your score.


  1. Have you ever wanted to stop using your Smartphone and found that you just couldn’t?
  2. Do you think about using your Smartphone constantly?
  3. Do you constantly check your Smartphone, even when you know there is no new email?
  4. Do you ever sneak away from people or groups to use your Smartphone without anyone knowing?
  5. Do you deny when asked if you were just using your Smartphone?
  6. Do you have to check your Smartphone before bed and immediately upon waking?
  7. Do you use your Smartphone in the bathroom?
  8. Do you wish you could use your Smartphone in the shower, too?
  9. Have you ever ignored others in a conversation to use your Smartphone?
  10. Have you ever checked your Smartphone while at a meal with others?
  11. Have you ever checked your Smartphone while at a stop light?
  12. Have you ever read your Smartphone while driving your vehicle?
  13. Have you ever typed on your Smartphone while driving a vehicle?
  14. Do you check your Smartphone while riding your bike, or walking on a busy street?
  15. Have you ever bumped into someone because you were paying attention to your Smartphone instead of paying attention to others?
  16. Have you ever put down your Smartphone swearing that you will not use it, and then find yourself picking it up again shortly afterward?
  17. Do you try to stop using your Smartphone on weekends and on vacation, but just can’t?
  18. Do you feel that you have to check your Smartphone at least every hour outside work hours?
  19. Do you feel that you have to check your Smartphone at least every 30 minutes during the work day?
  20. Do you use your Smartphone even when you know there are no emails or calls that have to be answered before the next work day?
  21. Has anyone ever approached you with concern about your Smartphone use?
  22. Do you have multiple backup batteries or multiple charging cables to be sure that your Smartphone is never without power?
  23. Do you have a backup Smartphone handheld, in case your current one breaks or fails?
  24. Do you spend more than 30 minutes a day doing anything on your Smartphone?
  25. Do you play games on your Smartphone (for more than 30 minutes/week)?
  26. Do you feel ‘lost’ or ‘naked’ when you don’t have your Smartphone with you?
  27. Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with your Smartphone?


What was your score? 

0 No Addiction (Are you being honest?)
1-5 Mild Addiction
6-10 Medium Addiction
11-15 Strong Addiction
16-20 Painful Addiction
20+ Beyond Addiction into Obsession (Get help now!)

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