Study: More Screen Time Leads To Less Happiness Among Teens

AH LG V10 Smartphone Press Images 8

Phone addiction is causing a lower level of happiness among teenagers who spend more time on digital activities such as chatting, gaming, social networking, and texting than among young users who invest more of their time in physical interactions, sports, and reading print materials. That’s according to a new study conducted by Jean M. Twenge, a San Diego State University professor with a major in psychology. Twenge probed the link between happiness and screen time in collaboration with her colleagues from SDSU and the University of Georgia by analyzing data from the Monitoring the Future research. As part of the study, the researchers polled more than a million respondents from the United States consisting of students from the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, with the objective of gauging the frequency of time teens spent in front of their mobile devices and computers and how often they engaged in social interactions. Finally, the study assessed how these habits affected the respondents’ level of happiness.

Quite unsurprisingly, the study revealed that longer screen time led to a higher degree of unhappiness among the youth. In contrast, teens who would dwell more on the physical world than on the virtual universe of digital interaction were markedly happier than their counterparts. It’s worth pointing out, however, that while the researchers concluded that more screen time results in unhappiness, there was no indication that unhappiness leads to an increased use of mobile devices and computers, gaming, social media interactions, and texting. Furthermore, it was found as well that less screen time does not help to boost the level of happiness among the respondents. It’s also worth pointing out that teens who spend less than an hour per day on their devices were happiest, though their level of happiness drops after an hour of screen time.

A separate poll conducted by LendEDU and released last year indicated that many Millennials suffer from separation anxiety when they are not holding their smartphones. Additionally, analysts from comScore found that phone addiction and app dependence among Millennials are rising. Furthermore, the poll revealed that 63 percent of male respondents confirmed that they suffer from separation anxiety while only 37 percent of female respondents did suffer from that condition.