And that can take a toll on their mental health. A new study links anxiety, severe depression, suicide attempts and suicide with the rise in use of smartphones, tablets and other devices. Jean Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and a graduate of the University of Chicago, has written extensively on youth and mental health.
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Predictably, most of the reporting of the study has thrown its hands up in the air like a cheerleading squad at gunpoint. When does this shift into being selectively judgmental occur? Being a young teen is so, so boring.
For most people, a digital device is never too far out of reach. And between text message alerts and constantly changing social media feeds, technology begs to be paid attention to. Findings from a new survey conducted by global research experts, GfKshow that teenagers and higher-income households are most susceptible to technology addiction.
Even though having the world at their fingertips offers knowledge and connects teens to people with similar interests, teenagers who spend an excessive amount of time surfing the web and perusing social media sites put themselves at risk for depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and privacy invasions. Unfortunately, there is only so much even the most proactive parent can do. The popularity of one social network quickly shifts to another, leaving not-so-tech-savvy parents stumped.
Teenagers today seem overloaded by things to do and information to absorb. It's not unusual for a young person to come home late from school because of an after-school activity, turn on the TV and computer and be messaging friends while watching a programme with one eye, texting on the mobile with the other, somehow managing to play a computer game as well while eating a hasty meal. All before dashing out to another club or meeting friends where they'll text friends who aren't there at the same time as listening to music, chatting and maybe watching one screen or other and playing computer games.
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All technologies have obvious benefits and potential harmful effects, but the key lies in moderation. One of the biggest debates of will be on the effects of digital technology on adolescents and teenagers. This is because these effects will colour their adult behaviour and the way future societies will behave. The Gates family did not allow the children a phone till they turned 14, set strict limits on screen time, and had them switch off devices well before bedtime.
Follow the RSS feed for this page:. Teens credit social media for helping to build stronger friendships and exposing them to a more diverse world, but they express concern that these sites lead to drama and social pressure. At the same time, teens mostly think teachers, social media companies and politicians are failing at addressing this issue.