going deeper

Teens & technology

Most of us who have kids know that teenagers and adolescents seem to constantly be on their phones. In fact, 24% of teens surveyed by Pew Research Center said they’re “almost constantly online” and 92% of teens report going online daily.

While the internet has lots of positive benefits like supporting education and connecting us with faraway relatives, it can also be harmful for our health if we use it too much – especially for young, impressionable teens.

Some research suggests that kids who use tons of social media, don’t get enough sleep and lead a sedentary lifestyle are in nearly as much danger of developing mental health problems as teens who engage in risky behaviors like too much alcohol, illegal drugs, smoking or skipping school.

Too much technology can cause these physical and mental health problems for teens.

·         Weight gain due to too much sedentary time behind a screen and not enough physical activity

·         Feelings of loneliness and depression – fear of missing out or “FOMO,” as the kids call it

·         Anxiety and body image issues caused by social compassion

·         Decreased attention span and difficulty learning

Parents can help prevent technology overload by taking these steps.

·         Schedule technology-free family activities

·         Eat dinner together and make a “no phones” rule

·         Set a “technology bedtime” – using a backlit screen before bed prevents restful, restorative sleep

·         Encourage teens to exercise for 30-minutes four to five days per week

Is your teen experiencing anxiety, depression or other signs of mental health problems? Request a free phone consult from the experts at Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services.

Find more tips from Nurse Rose here: www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose.


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