More teens than ever are on a technological overload! So what’s keeping them from the great outdoors?
A Center for Innovative Health Research article states, “three-fourths of teens 12-17 years old own cell phones and their texting surpasses that of young adults. There is an interesting gender gap: girls send around 3,952 text messages a month, and boys tap out comparatively paltry 2,815 text messages a month.” Combine that with taking and posting pictures, another favorite past time. Teen Vogue notes that “As of press time, more than 31 million Instagram photos have been hashtagged #selfie, and according to a recent study from Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teens have posted a photo of themselves online.” And that’s just selfies on Instagram!
There’s definitely a “screen fever” epidemic among teens. It can lead to health problems. In his presentation at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Larry D. Rosen, professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills stated that “Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more suscepitlbe to future health.” Worry about being left out of happenings online can lead to sleep loss which, in turn, affects functioning the next day. Dr. Rosen recommends removing your smartphone, tablet, and computer from your bedroom at least one hour before going to sleep.
So it looks like it’s time to turn off the phone and ipad, lay off the game controller, and give the TV a rest. Here’s a little advice on how to rejuvenate after the school year and purge some of the adverse effects of technology use. Spend your summer months wisely and find activities that get you back to face-to-face friendships, outdoor explorations, and the wonders of nature!