A study published in Nature Communications a few days ago found that adolescents feel worse about their lives the more they use social media.
The more time girls aged between 11 and 13 spend on social media, the less likely they are to be satisfied with life a year later, the UK study revealed.
It also shows the same pattern for boys aged 14 to 15, and 19-year-old boys and girls. Researchers say their work cannot predict which individuals are most at risk. And they say many other factors – such as the exact nature of social media content and the people they are interacting with online – will have an impact on teenage well-being too.
They accept for a very few people, social media will have an overall positive impact, allowing them to connect with friends and find valuable support.
Together with the increase in smartphones and the internet in recent years, there is a rise in reports that teenagers struggle with issues of mental health and concentration on studies.
These are issues that need the intervention of all sections of society including parents, teachers, academia, and others. Understanding the true extent and the mechanics of the problem is also important.
There are numerous benefits of phones including Smartphones. Literally they bring the world to the hands of the user. In contemporary times, survival without a smartphone seems improbable. The Covid-19 pandemic made smartphones even more essential than they were before. The smartphone enabled a range of tasks by minimizing human contact in the contagious times.
At the same time, the Smartphone’s have emerged as one of the biggest threats to privacy, tracking and disclosing personal data to technological giants, which always want to cash in on the information for earnings. Smart phones use more battery and sometimes people are unable to use their phones to make calls during emergencies, thereby defeating the original purpose of mobile phones.
It seems time to reflect on the excess use of smart phones. While the use of smart phones cannot be altogether discarded, people need to put some resistance which needs to be increased with time so that ill effects can be minimized. The parents need to curb use of the Smartphone by wards. Abrupt stoppage may not be a way forward but reducing time gradually needs to be worked out to lower the screen time and prevent bad effects on numerous counts.