Technology has transformed the way adolescents communicate, interact and express themselves; making it a huge challenge for parents, guardians, and adolescents themselves to minimize the potential risks associated with this new way of life. Recent studies exploring the affects of technology on mental health show that excessive digital exposure does affect mental and emotional health. There is no doubt about the fact that technology has brought us closer and more connected than ever before, but it is a paradox that in this age of digital connection people have begun to feel more lonely than ever.
Whether it is excessive use of social media or playing video games for long hours; digital technology invests a lot of emotional energy of its users. This creates a vicious cycle of digital addiction, where young adults start relying on technology to feel better or uplifting their mood. Whereas, in reality, it is the excessive use of these digital platforms that is making young adults feel more anxious and depressed in the first place.
Technology and the Adolescent Mind
The adolescent mind is not evolved enough to understand the stress, anxiety and loneliness caused by excessive use of technology. As far as adolescents use technology to find answers to their questions or learn something productive, you need not fear about their mental health being affected by it. But, if your child is spending way too much screen time on smartphones, iPads, TV, video games or laptop; there are chances that all of this will put them at a higher risk of loneliness and depression.
Less Sleep - More Stress
One of the biggest factors that contribute to disturb the mental health of adolescents due to overuse of technology is none other than sleep deprivation. Research proves that use of technology during bedtime plays a huge role in disrupting sleep patterns and decreasing the hours of nightly sleep. The human body needs at least 7-8 hours of peaceful sleep to function properly, both mentally and physically. So, in order to promote healthy sleep patterns in adolescents, parents or guardians must make it a point to create a separate space for TV’s, laptops, phones or tablets, other than the bedroom of the kids.
Cyber Bullying and Mental Health
As found by the American Psychology Association, an unfortunate side effect of technology that can have a huge impact on a child’s mental and emotional health is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying increases the chances of making young adults feel rejected and lonely. Young victims of cyber bullying often develop the feelings of anger, frustration and resentment, which eventually becomes a cause of stress or any other mental illness.
Loneliness & Anxiety with Adolescents
Long and uninterrupted screen-time can have a negative effect on your child’s well-being in more than one ways. As per studies, technology does contribute to put young adults at the risk of loneliness and anxiety. This is also something that has attributed to the rising number of cases of depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness in many teens these days.
What is the Solution to Adolescents and Technology?
In order to protect your children from the detrimental effects of technology, you need to adopt a moderate and supportive approach that works in the best of their interest. Things like, “technology breaks”, tech-free days, taking out tech-devices out of bedroom, to teaching the right digital etiquettes and safety concerns to your children; you can take the first step towards ensuring a healthy mental and emotional state for them.
NEXT STEPS WITH RESURFACE
Please, reach out to us today or speak to someone you trust if you believe you or someone you live are suffering from one of the signs above. There is love, and there is help. We don’t need to feel alone, embarrassed, or ashamed. Our lives are important, and we want you to know that.