The Effects of Smartphones on Teenage Mental Health

When it comes to our Smartphones - it is inevitable that this small device plays a huge role in our every day lives. These devices have become an essential part of modern life, especially for teenagers. They use their devices for communication, entertainment, and social media. However, the impact of excessive smartphone usage on teenage mental health has become a significant concern, and even more alarming is how much screentime has increased especially since 2020 when a majority of the world had to adjust to life during lockdowns.  Electronic devices, including smartphones, was essentially the only way at the time to communicate and stay in touch with your loved ones.  But, how much damage can these devices do to our mental health, especially teenagers?

Smartphone Usage Statistics Among Teenagers

According to a 2021 report by Common Sense Media, 95% of teenagers have a smartphone, and they spend an average of 7 hours and 22 minutes per day on entertainment media, including social media apps. In addition to the finding that 95% of teenagers have a smartphone, the report also found that 89% have at least one social media account, and 70% use social media multiple times per day.  Below are more examples of how the excessive smartphone usage can be detrimental.

The impact of excessive smartphone usage on teenage mental health:

  • Excessive smartphone usage can negatively impact sleep patterns and quality, leading to sleep deprivation, mood swings, and depression. Social media usage can also contribute to negative self-esteem and body image issues.

How smartphones affect communication and social skills among teenagers:

  • Excessive smartphone usage can lead to a decline in face-to-face communication and social skills, as teenagers may prioritize digital communication over face-to-face interaction.

The positive effects of smartphones on teenage mental health:

  • Smartphone apps can be used to manage mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Online resources and support groups provide teenagers with a safe space to express their emotions and connect with others who may be going through similar experiences.

The use of smartphones among teenagers has become ubiquitous in recent years, but research has suggested that there may be a link between heavy smartphone use and poor mental health outcomes. According to studies cited by the American Psychological Association, teenagers who spend more time on their smartphones are more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may have poorer sleep quality and less face-to-face social interaction. However, the relationship between smartphone use and mental health is complex, and more research is needed to fully understand it. As smartphone use continues to be a significant part of teenagers' daily lives, it's important for parents, educators, and mental health professionals to be aware of the potential impact it may have on their well-being.

Related Source: Smarter Phone, Smarter Practice

Best Practices For Parents and Caregivers

.Smartphones have become a significant aspect of teenagers' lives, and excessive usage can have negative effects on mental health. However, if used appropriately, smartphones can also have positive impacts on mental health and provide access to valuable resources and support. It is essential for parents, caregivers, and teenagers to find a healthy balance in smartphone usage to promote positive mental health outcomes.

There are several steps teenagers can take to reduce their exposure to EMF radiation emitted from their smartphones:

  1. Use a headset or speakerphone: When talking on the phone, use a headset or speakerphone instead of holding the phone up to your ear. This reduces the amount of radiation absorbed by the head.
  2. Text instead of call: Texting uses less power and emits less radiation than making a phone call.
  3. Use airplane mode: When not actively using your phone, switch it to airplane mode. This turns off cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth signals, reducing your exposure to EMF radiation.
  4. Keep your phone away from your body: Avoid carrying your phone in your pocket or directly against your body for extended periods of time. Instead, use a bag or purse to carry your phone.
  5. Limit screen time: Reducing the amount of time spent on the phone can also reduce the amount of EMF radiation exposure.
  6. Use radiation-blocking cases: Some phone cases are designed to block EMF radiation from the phone. These cases can be found online or at electronics stores.
  7. There are also technologies that can shield users to the harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation. Safesleeve’s protective cases for cell phones, tablets, and laptops are tested to block up to 99 percent of radiofrequency radiation. 

Additionally, resources such as mental health professionals, online support groups, and smartphone usage trackers can also be beneficial.