How Does Technology Affect Teenage Mental Health?
How does technology affect teenage mental health? Read on to learn about the impact of technology on teens’ mental health and wellness.
An Overview on Teens and Technology
Technology for teens keeps growing, and its impact is visible in daily living. In some cases, the adverse effects of tech appear to outweigh the positive. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 95 percent of teens have access to smartphones.1
The effects of these statistics are noticeable in teens and their behavioral health. Keep reading to know more about how technology affects teenage mental health.
How and Why Teenagers Use Technology
Teens and technology impacts cause significant time on a screen-based activity. These include tablets, gaming consoles, smartphones, televisions, and PCs. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children between ages 8 and 12 in the US spend around four to six hours daily watching or using their screens.2
Common Warning Signs in Teens
Various warning signs may depict that teenagers overuse technology. Some of these signs showing the impact of technology on children include:
- Extreme mood swings
- Drug or alcohol use
- Severe changes in sleeping habits, personality traits, and behavior
- Difficult time concentrating
- Extreme sense of worry or fear during daily activities
- Attempting to harm oneself or thinking about it
- Partaking in risky behaviors that may lead to harming themselves or others
- Feeling withdrawn and sad
- Signs of addictive behavior regarding the internet
Impact of Technology on Teens' Mental Wellness
Identity, Self-Esteem, and Body Image
Technology for the better can help improve a teenager’s sense of identity and self-esteem. Media plays a role in developing a teen’s body image, self-perception, and weight apprehensions.
The mainstream media, including social media platforms, includes diet culture. In some cases, teens and technology impacts cause them to find edited images of men and women, weight loss messages, and advertisements for diet products. It can make it challenging to differentiate between reality and what’s falsified.
Lack of Empathy
Like how people get addicted to pain medication, teens may also face challenges controlling their internet use.
Positive Impacts of Technology on Teens' Mental Wellness
- Helping them learn
- Preparing for future tech careers
- Improved multitasking
- Improved visual-spatial development
- Improved problem solving and decision making
Negative Effects of Technology on Teens' Mental Wellness
- Lower attention span
- Increased risk and lack of privacy
- Risk of depression
- Falling grades
- Social interaction problems
What is a Healthy Limit to Set for My Teenager?
Parents and technology impacts cause the need to find out where their teens go looking for information. It’s also important for them to confirm if it’s good quality.
Teenagers and the Internet
Teenagers and Their Exposure to Apps and Games
Teenagers and Screen Time
Stay in Touch with Your Teens
Teenagers are naturally adventurous and risk-taking. Hence, their need for constant excitement could make them take wrong actions or act impulsively. These impulsive tendencies are one of the reasons why parents and technology need to stay in touch with their young adults. When parenting the modern teenager, avoid back-and-forth arguments with them. Allow them to see the reasons for the steps you take.