Report blames decline in mental health aged 18-24 on smartphones

A report released by Sapien Labs indicates that smartphone use may be responsible for a continued decline in the mental health of young adults aged 18-24. The report notes that before the Internet, by the time someone turned 18, “would have spent 15,000 to 25,000 hours in person with peers and family.” But with the internet, that number has dropped to a range of 1,500 to 5,000 hours.

Young people spend too much time on smartphones instead of learning social skills, report says

Tara Thiagarajan, chief scientist at Sapien Labs, says this reduction in social interaction prevents people from learning important skills such as reading facial expressions, body language, physical touch, appropriate emotional responses and conflict resolution. Thiagarajan noted that people who lack these skills can detach from society and feel suicidal.

Data was obtained in 34 countries where the decline in mental wellbeing of young adults aged 18-24 had started before the pandemic. The decline started after 2010, coinciding with the increase in smartphone use. Before 2010, young adults had the highest level of psychological well-being. Since then, the trend has turned in the other direction.

If you know a heavy smartphone user in the 18-24 age group, keep an eye out for the following symptoms that may indicate a mental health problem:
  • Obsessive, strange, or unwanted thoughts
  • Self-image, self-esteem and confidence
  • Feeling detached from reality
  • Relationships with others
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Anxiety and Anxiety
  • Feelings of sadness, fear or hopelessness.

As Thiagarajan says, “Data shows that people now spend 7-10 hours online, leaving little time for face-to-face social engagement. This highlights the magnitude and nature of the challenges of social isolation and digital interaction at the expense of face-to-face social interaction. “

The above symptoms, the report says, “point to a decline in the social self, a composite measure of how we see ourselves and are able to form and maintain relationships — essentially a picture of how an individual is integrated into the social tissue The constellation of symptoms that dominate the mental profile of young adults does not correspond to a single disorder as defined by the DSM (the standard classification system of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States).

Do you believe that the time young adults spend on their smartphones gives them the opportunity to learn the social skills they need to cope with life? Or is this just another attempt to make technology the scapegoat for the decline of civilization?

Smartphone users are encouraged to use Screen Time of Digital Wellbeing

If you feel like you need to monitor your smartphone usage a little more, you can always use Screen Time on iOS to track your iPhone usage. Digital Wellbeing is available on Android.

Follow these instructions to enable Screen Time on your iPhone:

  • Go to SettingsScreen time
  • Tap Enable Screen Time
  • Tap Get on
  • Select This is my [device] or This is from my child [device]

On Android, Digital Wellbeing is still in beta and will be hidden from your app list even if you install it on your phone. After installing Digital Wellbeing on your Android device, go to SettingsDigital Wellbeing and Parental Controls† As we mentioned, the icon is hidden by default. If you follow the directions we just gave you, scroll down and you’ll see a toggle switch that says “Show icon in app list.” Turn on the switch to see the Digital Wellbeing icon in the app list. If you plan to use the app on a daily basis, make sure the switch is turned on.

Both Apple’s Screen Time and Google’s Digital Wellbeing aims to reduce your screen time, reduce the number of notifications you receive each day, and create a time each night where you can relax with your phone so you can sleep well. And they also give you some control over how your child uses his or her phone.

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