Shocking Link Between Screens and Teen Depression Unveiled in Jean Twenge’s Latest Book: A Health News Report
In today’s digital age, teenagers are more exposed to screens such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. While these gadgets provide numerous benefits and conveniences, experts have been warning us about the adverse effects of screen time on mental health for years. And now, a new book by Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, revealed the shocking link between screens and depression in teenagers.
In her latest book, “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood,” Twenge collected data from several studies that showed a dramatic increase in depression and suicide rates among teenagers since 2011. The study also found that adolescents who spend five or more hours a day on screens are 71% more likely to have suicidal thoughts or make a suicide attempt than those who spend an hour or less.
While the study does not necessarily prove that screens are the direct cause of depression and suicide, it reveals a strong correlation between the two. As Twenge pointed out, there is a potential link between the rise of smartphones and the surge of teen depression, anxiety, and suicide. She notes that teenagers who spend more time on screens are less likely to engage in activities that boost mental health, such as sports, religious services, face-to-face interactions, and outdoor activities.
The rise of technology and social media is inevitable, and it’s unlikely that we can ban screens entirely. However, there are ways to mitigate the negative effects of screen time on mental health. Twenge suggests that parents should limit their kids’ screen time to two hours a day, and encourage them to engage in physical activities, face-to-face communication, and creative pursuits. Parents can also advocate for healthier tech use in schools and make sure that teenagers take breaks often from their screens.
The Bottom Line
The correlation between screens and teen depression is undoubtedly alarming, and it is time for parents, educators, and policymakers to pay attention. By understanding the potential consequences of excessive screen time, we can create a healthier environment for our teenagers and help them combat the negative effects of screens on their mental health.
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Summary: A new study shows that teenagers who spend more than five hours a day on screens are 71% more likely to have suicidal thoughts or make a suicide attempt than those who spend an hour or less. Jean Twenge’s latest book, iGen, reveals the potential link between the rise of smartphones and the surge of teen depression, anxiety, and suicide. To mitigate the negative effects of screen time, parents should limit their kids’ screen time to two hours a day and encourage them to engage in physical activities, face-to-face communication, and creative pursuits. #HEALTH