Three boys in one exam room made for more laughs during our school/sports physicals, but when the doctor told them to limit their screen time to two hours a day, jaws dropped. As parents, we probably gave our sons smartphones too early and have yet to find a solid approach for limiting their use other than turning their devices in to us at a set time each night.
Any more will be a battle, and quite frankly, it’s one I’d rather avoid.
Then I saw this article in The Atlantic: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
Check out these excerpts:
More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been….Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.
There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.
The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy. There’s not a single exception.
The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression….Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide…
Children who use a media device right before bed are more likely to sleep less than they should, more likely to sleep poorly, and more than twice as likely to be sleepy during the day….Watching TV for several hours a day is only weakly linked to sleeping less.
Sleep deprivation is linked to myriad issues, including compromised thinking and reasoning, susceptibility to illness, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Link to more here.