A California teenager allegedly set fire to his mother’s home Sunday after he got into an argument over an “electronic device.”
The incident occurred in the city of Twentynine Palms at a compound that included a mobile home and other structures.
The 17-year-old, who was not identified due to his age, allegedly threatened his mother because she had broken his computer, according to a report from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The mother fled the home after he said he would shoot her and set fire to the compound, according to police.
After she was gone, the teen allegedly poured gasoline onto the floor of the living room and set it on fire.
When firefighters arrived at the compound, they found a mobile home, an RV trailer, two cars, and other items on fire. They indicated that the compound had no utilities or electricity connected.
Police later arrested the teenager trying to escape in an off-road vehicle. He was taken to San Bernardino Juvenile Hall.
Experts have warned parents about the dangers of children and teenagers becoming addicted to their electronic devices. In one study by Common Sense Media in 2019, 45% of parents said they felt that they were addicted to their mobile devices, while 39% of children said they were addicted to their mobile devices.
In the study, 28% of parents said that the use of mobile devices was hurting the relationship between themselves and their children. Only 9% of children said mobile devices hurt their relationship with their parents. The study also found that both parents and their children found themselves being distracted by their phones while trying to sleep.
Dr. Delaney Ruston, a Stanford trained physician, explained to PBS that the reaction of a teenager’s brain to constant stimulation from video games was found to be similar to that of the brain’s reaction to ingesting drugs.
Here’s more about research into young people and screen time:
The drug-like effect of screen time on the teenage brain