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Teens Experience More Peace When Screen Time is Limited

Photo from Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Teens Experience More Peace When Screen Time is Limited

By Movieguide® Contributor

While increased screen time leads to comparison, jealousy and envy in teens, a recent study conducted by Pew Research found that those who spend less time scrolling experience more joy and peace.

“Roughly three-quarters of teens say it often or sometimes makes them feel happy (74%) or peaceful (72%) when they don’t have their smartphone,” the study found.

“I think screen time is one part of the picture…but it’s really not the whole story,” noted Dr. Laura Erickson-Schroth, the chief medical officer at The Jed Foundation.

Other factors impact how screens affect teens’ mental health. She explained that the biggest potential harm from screens is its effect on sleep.

“Being in front of a screen before bed means you’re being exposed to blue light, which can suppress melatonin production and make it more difficult to fall asleep or get quality sleep,” Fox 25 reported.

“So, certainly screen time at night can throw off your circadian rhythm,” Erickson-Schroth explained. “In other areas, there isn’t as much evidence that screen time, directly using your phone, has an effect on mental health.”

Other harmful effects include information overload and cyberbullying.

In May 2023, “U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory Tuesday to call attention to the potential dangers of social media use for children and teens. He called on policymakers, social media companies and others to take immediate action to make online spaces safer for young people, while highlighting the need for more research into social media’s effects,” per The National Desk.

It is also important for parents to model proper boundaries regarding screen time. Kids and teens learn most from those they are closest to, starting with parents.

“One thing that’s important to note is that screen time isn’t just a teen issue. It’s a family issue,” said Colleen McClain, a Pew research associate and lead researcher.

“Creating a Family Media Plan ca​n help you and your children set media priorities that matter most to your family. Come back to revise your plan as often as you need to, such as at the beginning of each school year or during summer and holiday breaks,” the American Academy of Pediatrics reported.

Movieguide® recently reported the effects of social media on mental health:

Dr. Logan Winkelman, a counselor at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, said that even though mindless social media scrolling might seem harmless, it actually produces negative effects on mental health.

“We may not be engaging in other activities, or it [screen time] could be a coping mechanism, and that could lead to other things like anxiety and depression,” Dr. Winkelman said.

This, along with the fact that teens, on average, spend nearly eight hours on screens every day, explains the skyrocketing rates of mental health issues among young people.

A study by The Yale School of Medicine “found that youth who spent the most time on their digital technology were statistically more likely to exhibit higher internalizing problems two years later. Internalizing problems include depression, anxiety, social anxiety, somatic complaints, and other concerns. This association between frequent screen time and mental health problems was mediated by specific changes in brain development.”

 

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.