Transcript for Experts warn parents about how Snapchat and other apps can hook teens
Our series cracking the kid code. T.J. Holmes here with the details. Good morning, guys. Kids get off my lawn has been replaced by kids, get off your phones. There's a whole generation some would argue is now caught up in this, they're missing out on life happening all around them because they think life, friends, self-esteem, everything is right here and you better believe they are getting help -- getting hooked. Many teens are on their phones more than 6 1/2 hours a day. More than half of them text, nearly all use social media apps. But it may not be entire their fault. Do these kids get help from some of these apps? Help in getting hooked? Of course they get hooked. I mean the games and the social media designers want people to come back. Reporter: Take Snapchat, the super popular social media app where teens share photos and videos. It has a clever way to keep them coming back, the snapstreak. If you and a friend send a photo to each other every day for three days you have a streak, but if you don't send a photo every single day afterwards you lose it. Experts like Dr. Jody gold, author of "Screen-smart parenting" saying that can create a hierarchy of friendship that can leave some teams afraid to disappoint others about dropping a streak or petrified in any change in status. Especially teenagers it's important. Reporter: 18-year-old friends sherlana and Rea have a 40 into H -- 405-day streak. What happens if it ends? Sad. It'll be a sad day. Reporter: These girls so invested in their streaks that if this hourglass pops up meaning a streak is ending and they can't get onto the app they ask their moms to send snaps for them. Did you do it? Did you? How annoying can this get? Both: Very! The hourglass and when she sees that comes on and can't get on the to wi-fi then she starts to panic. Reporter: But it's not just the apps that suck teens in. It's also smartphone games. Carter is Jody's 11-year-old son. Slow down. You're doing a training battle with your what. With my trainer. This guy helps me. Reporter: Class royale rocketed to the top of the app charts and Carter says it was so addicting he took it off his phone himself. So why is it you thought you were playing that game a little too much? They always try to pull you in more and then they kind of like never let you leave until you finally like quit it. Reporter: Snapchat says streaks are designed to be light-hearted and fun and supercell maker of clash royal say we want people to enjoy our games but make it easy to leave if they don't. The concern not necessarily how many hours you log on but how important they are to the teen. The more you cannot leave one day without being on social media, the more your identity gets wrapped up in it and the more likely it'll have a negative effect. And the girls are here in our audience with big smiles on your faces. Give them a hand. I have to say, I feel your moms' pain. My girls keep their streaks going although they know better than to give it to me but give it to their friends to keep the streak going but what would make you stop? I think like if -- you know like an argument would make it stop. Yeah. A lot of the times it's usually arguments or wi-fi not being there. Sometimes on vacation I don't have internet connections so it ends by accident but -- You're okay with that, see? Not really. She's not really okay with it. Looks like she shut that down. What is your longest streak. 405 days. 405 days. Yeah. More than a year. Like a relationship. Yeah. Wow. They made their -- well, you made your mom buy a $100 wi-fi package on a cruise just so she can keep the streak -- Yes. It's that deep. Don't let these sweet faces fool you. They're playing a role today. Crazy with this stuff. That is -- Everybody can learn -- for everybody in here, just put the phone down for a little while. We're hooked. We have to be occupied always. I know. Just put it down for a second. Put it down right now.
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