It is hard to find a teen today who is not glued to their smart phone. However, a new study has shown that cell phone use can be harmful to a teen’s mental health. The study showed that teens who spend seven hours a day on their smart phone are twice as likely to develop anxiety and depression as those who only use their phone one hour a day.
The data was obtained by the National Survey on Children’s Health. It involved 40,000 kids who are between the ages of 2 and 17. It was uncommon for young children to spend seven or more hours on their cell phone per day. However, 20 percent of teens who were between the ages of 14 and 17 spent seven hours or more on their cell phone per day.
The researchers stated that the students are likely following their parents’ footsteps. The average adult now spends 10 hours a day on their digital devices. The study highlighted other risks that were associated with cell phone use. Students who used their cell phone for more than seven hours a day were more likely to be distracted. They were also less emotionally stable. Additionally, they had more trouble making friends.
Jean Twenge was one of the study authors. She stated that she was surprised by the results. She said that she did not know that smart phone use would have more of an impact on teens than it did on children. However, teens spend more time on their cell phones than young children.
Jean has done previous research on the effects that social media had on teens. She found that social media and smart phone use was linked to sleep problems. It was also linked to emotional problems.
Doctors, guidance counselors and teachers have expressed that they are concerned about the amount of time that children spend on social media. Some studies have linked social media and smart phone use to increased risk of suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that small children should not spend more than one hour on smart phones. However, they have not set a guideline for older kids.