Parents of children from toddlers to teens need to be aware that there is a new drug out there. A drug that no parents before have had to deal with. If you think that digital addiction is not a real drug you would be wrong.

Some Digital Addiction Stats 2019

  • The smartphone is the last thing most people look at before going to bed at night
  • 85% of smartphone users will check their device while speaking to friends & family
  • An average person will spend more than 5 years of their lives on social media
  • 73% of people claim to experience anxiety when they cannot find their phone
  • 43% of people in the US never unplug from technology
  • You could read 200 books in the time you spend on social media each year
  • 60% of Americans wish their family members would unplug from tech. more often
Digital Addiction Stats 2019

It may be one of the most difficult drugs to deal with. Like food addiction, you cannot simply cut off partaking of the addictive “substance”. Instead, we need to find healthy digital coping strategies when consuming the digital smorgasbord on offer.

The latest Digital Addiction Stats 2019 are alarming because they show steadily increasing trends. Trends we were already well aware of. This predominantly affects young people, resulting in increased digital anxiety and digital depression. Also of concern is that parents themselves are not immune to these behaviours. As such they are not always setting a good example to their children around healthy interaction with the digital world.

Factors Contributing To Digital Anxiety & Digital Depression

  • The prevalence of devices (mainly smartphones) in the hands of young users almost 24/7.
  • The massive rise in the perceived importance of Social Media in their self-worth and self-esteem. Read more

The extent to which the interaction between Social Media and children is the cause of social anxiety cannot be ignored. This becomes even more acute when it comes to teens and social media. As parents, we cannot simply limit our children’s access to devices. Rather, we should endeavour to have open, non-judgemental, conversation with our children about their online experiences. Only then will we be able to address the negative aspects of the digital social space.

A Digital Coping Strategy – Points To Discuss

  • Who they are interacting with. Read more
  • The nature of the interactions themselves.
  • How easy it is for a post to be completely misunderstood if time and care is not taken to communicate clearly.

At the same time, we can build up their resilience to negativity encountered on social media. We should encourage them to stand up and challenge opinions or at least demand clarity from the source.

Of course, balance as always is the key. Parents should try to ensure that kids have sufficient experiences that are “offline” as well. Occasions where they can spend quality time with friends and family and develop real-world relationships. It is our responsibility to show them that their self-worth and self-esteem is not entirely determined by likes, clicks and followers. Who they are is enough.

I’m Enough Charity was created to assist young people to safely navigate the digital environment. We continually strive to provide resources, tips and advice to make this possible.

Emergency and help lines


Anxiety phone line – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)

Mental Health Crisis Helpline

Mental Health Crisis Helpline - 0800 800 717


Depression and anxiety affects us all differently.
Free 24/7 Helpline: 0800 111 757 Text 4202

Website Address

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland


Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat


Whatever you're going through, call us any time on 0800 726 666.

Website Address
Suicide Crisis Helpline

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
What's Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds).
Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.


Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

Sexuality or gender identity helpline
Description – Phone: 0800 111 757 or email or free text 5626

Website Address
Supporting Families in Mental Illness

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825.

Mental health services – Ministry of Health

We all face challenges to our mental health at various times in our lives. The way we’re feeling can change how we think and how we deal with tough times.

There’s a range of resources and services available to help including phone and online services and information, as well as face-to-face support.

Most services are free and provide information and confidential advice from trained professionals. There's also information for family, whānau, or friends if they need advice and support.

If you’re told that there is a waiting time for a service, please still reach out and make contact. Other supports can be put in place – ask what you can try in the meantime.


Helplines for children and young people

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to talk to a trained counsellor.

To talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline – 0800 111 757.

To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 call Healthline – 0800 611 116.

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat.

What's Up  – 0800 942 8787, (for 5–18-year-olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 1 pm–10 pm and on weekends, 3 pm–10 pm. Online chat is available from 7 pm–10 pm daily.

Website Address