SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The smartphone revolution is making life harder for teenagers.
It sounds counterintuitive since kids spend so much time using their phones.
The study didn’t indicate whether teenagers are using their smartphones more because they’re unhappy or they’re unhappy because they’re spending more time with their phones.
What it did find was a major change in adolescent behavior, beginning in 2007.
2007 was the year that America got what it wanted–the smartphone.
Within five years, most Americans owned a smartphone.
What a new study has uncovered is that iPhones are having a profound impact on adolescent behavior.
Since 2007, eighth, 10th and 12th graders are much more likely to say they often feel lonely and isolated.
Dating among high school seniors was already on the decline. After the iPhone, it dropped even faster.
And kids are spending less time hanging out with friends.
The overall average has fallen 40 percent in the last decade.
They’re also less likely to get a driver’s license, less likely to get enough sleep, and even less likely to have sex.
Psychologist Jean Twangy calls it a looming mental health crisis.
“Teens who spend five hours more hours a day on electronic devices are 71 percent more likely to have at least one risk factor for suicide,” Twangy said.
Arianna Huffington says parents can’t rely on companies like Apple to self-regulate.
“Their revenue models are based on how much of the attention of the consumer are you absorbing. the more of their attention you get, the more money you make”.
So, just how much screen time is “healthy”?
Researchers say the happiest teenagers spent a little less than an hour a day scanning smartphones, tablets, or other devices.
After that, as screen time went up, so did the levels of unhappiness.
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