"I hate my mom's phone," wrote a second-grade student in a heartbreaking homework from school that was shared online by her teacher.
The girl's answer in her assignment has gone viral, showing that smartphone addiction reaches beyond teenagers and children. Parents and adults are also affected by it, resulting in a negative effect on their children.
Second-Grader Wishes Cellphones Didn't Exist
Jen Adams Beason, an elementary school teacher in Louisiana, issued a homework assignment, asking her students to write about an invention that they did not like and why. Beason, however, likely did not expect heartbreaking responses from the question.
Beason on May 18 uploaded to Facebook the answer of one student, with the image now viral after being shared almost 300,000 times.
"I don't like the phone because my panert (sic) are on their phone every day," the student wrote, even going as far as calling using phones "a really bad habit."
"I hate my mom's phone and I wish she never had one," the student added.
The handwritten note was accompanied by a drawing of a smartphone with an X mark over it and a sad face with a speech bubble that says "I hate it."
Making matters worse is the fact that, according to Beason, out of her 21 students, four of them had similar answers. In her Facebook post, she added the hashtags #getoffyourphone and #listentoyourkids.
Fighting Smartphone Addiction
Smartphone addiction is not a new topic. In January, investors urged Apple to do something about the growing problem of smartphone addiction in children. That same month, a study from San Diego State University revealed that too much smartphone use leads to unhappy teenagers.
The discussion on smartphone addiction, however, has been mostly focused on children and teenagers, as opposed to how parents are showing the behavior in front of their children and neglecting their relationships with them. A recently published study found that "technology-based interruptions in parent-child interaction" is connected to anger outbursts and restlessness among young children.
Possible ways for parents to end smartphone addiction so that they can again have meaningful interactions with their children include designating "No Phone Zones" at home and activating Do Not Disturb mode on their devices.
There is also a new app named Siempo that is designed specifically to function as a smartphone addiction solution. The things that Siempo does to address the problem include turning a smartphone's background white, replacing flashy icons with bland ones, and changing notification times.