Be honest – are you addicted to your phone? Social media? According to the Addiction Center, 5 to 10% of Americans are addicted to social media. Are you one of them? Or maybe you’re addicted to the “ding” – that little notification on your phone indicating you have a text or notification? We headed to Katonah Avenue to see if we could find anyone who would admit to their addiction publicly. We spoke to about 10 people, but most wouldn’t allow us to publish their answers. Here are the brave ones who allowed their answers to be shared publicly.

Judith Barrera, Goldens Bridge 

Katonah Connect: Do you think you’re addicted to your phone and/or social media? 

JB: Not me, but my kids – they’re addicted to their phones. I have two boys, and it’s like they’re on their phones all 24 hours!

KC: Do you think it’s okay for kids or teens to be on their phones so much? 

JB: I don’t like it. I want the kids to put it away and start reading because reading is so important for kids. Now, a lot of kids don’t want to read, they only want to stay on their cellphones. 

KC: How can we change that? 

JB: There should be rules for kids that say, “OK, one hour on the phone, then go play, go out, go read.” 

KC: What apps are your children addicted to? 

JB: My boy in high school likes videos and music, especially Spotify. I’ll try to talk to him, but there are those two things in his ears.

Ralph Marchitelli, Stony Point

Katonah Connect: Would you say you’re addicted to social media and/or your phone? 

RM: No. 

KC: How do you resist it?

RM: There was a time when it was necessary for my job and I relied on it for communication, but I don’t anymore. I don’t know, I’m older. Simply put, I don’t need to walk around all day staring at my phone like my kids do. Now it’s convenient if I want to purchase something; I can Google something to purchase, but that’s out of convenience. It’s not like I’m tied to it for any social media – I’m not on Facebook, I don’t listen to music on it. My kids on the other hand… 

KC: Would you say they’re addicted to social media or their phones?

RM: Oh yeah! They can’t do anything without it. In fact, they tune everything out in the world around them – which I think is unbelievable. Two of them can sit in a room and listen to songs and some kind of YouTube thing and I’m like, “You got to shut those off cause I’m going crazy!” 

KC: When you do use it, what would you say you use your phone most for?

RM: Communication. Direct communication. Reaching out to your family and stuff, just to keep in touch. 

John Silvestre, Briarcliff Manor 

Katonah Connect: Would you say you’re addicted to social media and/or your phone? 

JS: I don’t think I’m addicted, but I use it for work. 

KC: Besides work, what do you use your phone for? 

JS: I read the news on the phone. I do a lot of stuff on the phone. I follow soccer. So I spend maybe 4 or 5 hours doing that kind of stuff. Okay, maybe I am addicted. What is the definition of addiction?

KC: Ummm……

JS: I don’t consider myself addicted even though I might be. It depends on the definition. If it interferes with your functioning, then it becomes an addiction like anything else. 

KC: Would you say it interferes with your functioning? 

JS: Eh, maybe mildly. If we are at a dinner and maybe there’s a phone call that is important then yeah. But I’d say no. 

Iftkhar Ahmed, Brooklyn 

Katonah Connect: Do you think you’re addicted to your phone and/or social media?

IA: I’m not addicted, but I’ll still check it. 

KC: What platforms do you use?

IA: Whatsapp for communication. Also sometimes, I’ll send small YouTube videos. 

KC: What do you watch on YouTube?

IA: I watch a lot of different channels to check out products and brands because my son owns Weinstein’s Pharmacy – we just bought it about six months ago. Plus, we have a couple of pharmacies in the city too. 

KC: What about social media? Do you use apps like Instagram or Facebook to find products and brands?

 IA: I’m not interested. My kids are. I say they are smarter than their father because they’ve grown up in the computer age, with social media. 

Patricia Brady, Brewster: 

Katonah Connect: Would you say you’re addicted to social media and/or your phone? 

PB: No. Absolutely not. I don’t like all the technology. I like to keep it simple. 

KC: How do you resist using your phone?

PB: I keep myself busy with lots of other projects. 

KC: What kinds of other projects?

PB: Oh my gosh! I don’t know where to begin. Do you want a list? 

KC: Yes, please. 

PB: There are 10 grandchildren who I’m very involved with –  I’m basically an unpaid uber car driver with all the kids – gardening as well, reading, projects in the house that have to get done. 

KC: It’s great to be disconnected. When you do use your phone, though, what do you use it for?

PB: Grandkids. Them contacting me, me contacting them.

Aerin Atinsky
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Aerin Atinsky is a high school senior in Manhattan. She's a student ambassador for News Decoder and the executive editor for her school paper. Aerin is passionate about writing and film and is pursuing print and video journalism. She also has a shameless obsession with Quentin Tarantino films, a love for rock music and might be Harry Potter's biggest fan.
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Kaitlyn Hardy is studying journalism and film at Emerson College. In addition to being a writer, Kaitlyn is also an avid reader, tea drinker, and movie watcher.