‘Technology is bad for young people’s mental health’. If you are over 35, you will have heard this phrase thousands of times, backed by dozens of studies on the role of social networks or screens in the germs of many mental disorders, from anxiety to depression.
As well, A huge study conducted by the University of Oxford It is published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science It showed that there is “little correlation” between technology use and mental health problems. The study collected information on more than 430,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 15.
Oxford Internet Institute compared TV viewing, social media, and device use with Feelings of depression, suicidal tendencies, and behavior problems.
U foundSlightly decreased the association between depression and social media use and television, from 1991 to 2019. However, there was Slight increase between emotional problems and the use of social networks.
“We were unable to distinguish between the impact of social media and mental health in 2010 and 2019,” Study co-author Professor Andrew Przybylski said. “We are not saying that the less happy people use social networks more, what we are saying is that the connection is not getting stronger.”
Participants in both the United States and the United Kingdom, They assessed their feelings using static questions with answers on a sliding scale. Additionally, they were asked about the duration of activity on social networks or on devices, but not how they spent that time.
In the study, qOver many years, the number of adolescents reached 430,561 – between the ages of 10 and 15They reported their own personal use of technology, such as watching television, using devices, and using social media, as well as any mental health issues.
The results showed Slightly reduced the association between watching TV and social media use with mental health problems In adolescents, although there was a slight increase in the association between social networking use and emotional problems, something that required more research.
“eWe found some limited associations between social media use and emotional problems, for example.Study author Dr. Matti Faure stated in a press release. “But it is difficult to know why they are related. It could be several factors[Maybepeoplewithproblemsspendingmoretimeonsocialmediatogetsupportfromtheirpeers?”[¿Quizáslaspersonasconproblemaspasanmástiempoenlasredessocialesbuscandoapoyodesuscompañeros?”[ربمايقضيالأشخاصالذينيعانونمنمشاكلالمزيدمنالوقتعلىوسائلالتواصلالاجتماعيللحصولعلىالدعممنأقرانهم؟”[¿quizáslaspersonasconproblemaspasanmástiempoenlasredessocialesbuscandoapoyodesuscompañeros?”
What is more, There was very little evidence to suggest that these associations increased over time“.
The writers confirm this This is not to say that all technology is good for teens. The study was based on self-reports, and looked only for correlations, not causal factors.
“These results do not imply that technology is all good for teens, or all bad, worse or worse for teens. Even with some of the broader data sets available to scientists,” It is difficult to definitively define the role of technologies in young people’s lives and how their impact may change over timeDr Furah, one of the authors, says.
Scientists are working extensively on these questions, but their work is hampered by the fact that most of the data collected is on behaviors The internet remains hidden in the data warehouses of tech companiesThe researcher concludes.
Smartphones can cause changes in the brain
A study was done last year Show that addictive behavior with smartphones can cause structural changes in the brainPlus, the fact that constant use of devices can make us more distracted and hyperactive. More research will be needed to determine the true effect of technology use and the associated health outcomes in adolescents and adults.
“We need more transparent research collaborations between independent researchers and technology companies. Before we do that, we’re generally in the dark, ” says Dr. Fore.
In January 2021, a study indicated that heavy social media use was associated with negative well-being and self-esteem among teens. Other factors affecting young people’s mental health are the Coronavirus pandemic.
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