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Smartphones Make Teens Sad And Depressed, Researchers Found

Teen Using Smartphone.JESHOOTS/Pixabay

Modern technology has given way for children and teenagers to insulate themselves from the world, and smartphones are apparently among the biggest culprits. According to a recent study, teens who are always glued to their smartphones are more prone to sadness and depression than their more active and social counterparts.

The study was done by San Diego State University researchers led by Jean M. Twenge, a professor of psychology. According to the published findings, teens who spend more time on their devices than actually interacting with other people or doing sports is causing them to be miserable.

Twenge also wrote a piece, which was published by Business Insider, explaining how smartphone addiction is causing patients to have a more negative outlook. The researchers apparently made their conclusions after analyzing one million U.S. teens.

“We found that teens who spent more time seeing their friends in person, exercising, playing sports, attending religious services, reading or even doing homework were happier. However, teens who spent more time on the internet, playing computer games, on social media, texting, using video chat or watching TV were less happy,” Twenge wrote.

“In other words, every activity that didn't involve a screen was linked to more happiness, and every activity that involved a screen was linked to less happiness. The differences were considerable: Teens who spent more than five hours a day online were twice as likely to be unhappy as those who spent less than an hour a day.”

These findings are also alarming because they come on the heels of studies finding a link between increased screen time and a rise in suicide rates among teens. According to recent data, depression and suicidal tendencies among teens skyrocketed starting in 2012, TechCrunch reports. This was about the same time when the smartphone trend really hit its stride and became a multi-billion-dollar global industry.

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