A new study finds that use of smart phones by young people can lead to mental health problems later in life.
The new study by A Sapien Labs looked at 27,969 members of Generation Z across the world and found that the younger they were given a cell phone, the sooner they developed mental health issues.
Per the Washington Examiner:
“Kids flourish most engaging the real world — family and friends in person, exercise, volunteering, and religious activities,” University of Virginia sociologist and senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies W. Bradford Wilcox told the Washington Examiner. “They are more likely to flounder when they get caught in the virtual worlds offered by smartphones. ”
The study notes that with each new generation — Gen Z being the first to be confronted with essentially unadulterated access to the internet — “overall mental wellbeing is systematically lower.”
Pew Research data cited in the report show 96% of Americans aged 18-29 own a smartphone, and 48% report they are on the internet “almost constantly.” Moreover, 2021 data showed that, in America, 31% of 8-year-olds, 71% of 12-year-olds, and 91% of 14-year-olds own a smartphone.
Estimates also suggest the 13-18-year-old age group spends an average of 8.4 hours looking at a screen per day, while 8-12-year-olds spend 5.3 hours doing the same.
conversely, the study found that people who came to use cellphone at older ages had few mental health issues in early adulthood.
This makes perfect sense. I’ve said for some time that parents should not allow their children to have a cell phone until they are old enough to get a job and pay for their own (which is what I did raising my three boys, by the way, so I am not just theorizing, here).
Most of the troubles come in the form of social media. Many kids simply don’t have the mental toughness or self-assuredness to maintain their composure when they are being criticized on social media. It is all so terribly personal — even when it wouldn’t seem to be to an adult.
Kids just can’t take the pressure of such criticism, especially if it comes in a wave. Hell, many adults can’t, either. But kids are especially prone to being overwhelmed by it all.
So, parents, stop it with the cell phones for kids. They’ll thank you later.