Barcelona firmly against screen addiction among young people

Barcelona firmly against screen addiction among young people

In the digital age where screens occupy a central place in everyday life, Barcelona has decided to take significant steps to address the growing concern about screen addiction among children and adolescents.

With an investment of 6 million euros, the Barcelona City Council has launched an ambitious action plan that seeks to promote digital well-being and combat screen addictions among the city’s young people.

The statistics are worrying: according to data from the Barcelona City Council, almost half of children aged 10 and 11 have a cell phone with Internet access, most of them with no time restrictions on use.

In addition, adolescents aged 13 to 19 spend more than four hours a day in front of digital devices. These figures reflect an alarming trend that has aroused the concern of authorities and public health experts.

Screen addiction in childhood and adolescence

The harmful effects of technology abuse are evident, from cognitive alterations to eating disorders and addictions to mobile devices. Aware of these risks, the municipal government of Barcelona has decided to take action.

The action plan, which covers the period 2024-2027, consists of 51 proposals that are deployed in three main lines of intervention.

  1. Promotion of the Critical and Healthy Use of Technologies: A training program will be implemented for young people, families and professionals to educate on the responsible use of digital technologies. This program will address topics such as socio-technical awareness and healthy digital practices.


  1. Promotion of Alternative Leisure Activities: After-school activity programs will be expanded and aid for sports activities will be maintained, especially for vulnerable families. The importance of physical exercise and contact with the environment as alternatives to screen time will be recognized.


  1. Technology Addiction Awareness and Support: Problematic screen and social media use will be elevated to a public health concern. Awareness-raising measures aimed at parents, educators and young people will be carried out, as well as training for health and education professionals in the detection and management of technological addiction.

A public health problem

The city government has elevated problematic screen and social media use to a public health concern.

Barcelona City Council’s proactive approach to this issue reflects its commitment to the well-being and healthy development of the city’s youth. With significant investment and a detailed plan, Barcelona is taking a firm step towards creating a positive and healthy digital environment for today’s generations of children, teenagers and young adults.