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How Smartphones are ruining Teens’ Lives, Mental Health

People are having less sex and sleep since the dawn of the smartphone age, a new book by a professor of psychology claims.

More than 75 per cent of teens own a phone, according to a recent study.

Since the popularity of phones grew, rates of loneliness amongst teens have soared alongside a worrying decrease in mental wellbeing.

According to figures the number of teenagers spending time with friends nearly every day dropped by more than 40 per cent between 2000 and 2015, with rates of loneliness subsequently soaring.

Today’s teens are dating less too, with 20 per cent less putting themselves out there.

That’s not all, according to the data they’re also having less sex, getting less sleep and even driving less than ever before.

Are today’s teens less independent than previous generations?

“We are giving children devices that have the potential to become addictive at a time when their impulse control and judgement isn’t fully developed,” explains Tanya Goodin, one of the reserachers.

“We expecting them to self-regulate their use: even though we are witnessing mounting mental health issues,” the author said.

There have been endless studies linking social media usage to the exacerbation of mental illness, the most recent of which claims that posting photos on social media could be a symptom of depression.

A recent poll illustrated the harmful effects that Instagram specifically has on young people’s mental wellbeing, explaining that the photo-sharing app can deepen feelings of inadequacy and subsequently amplifies anxiety.

“The problem is that screen interactions do not fulfil our need to connect in the same way as in-person social interactions,” Twenge said.

“That’s why in-person interactions are linked to better psychological well-being and screen interactions to worse psychological well-being. Screen interactions might be convenient, but they don’t provide the same benefits as in-person social interaction,” the author explained.

“Teenagers – and adults too, for that matter – have become intolerant to boredom,” explains Dr Rafael Euba, another researcher on the project.

“Whilst technology is connecting people virtually, in reality, this can lead to a distancing from one another and can lead to feelings of isolation,” he said.

Adopted from Independent UK

 

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