Smartphones blamed for worsening mental health of young people

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In the 18 to 24 age group, Sapien Labs researchers said that smartphone use may be a cause of poor mental health in young people aged 18 to 24. A new report notes that before the advent of the internet, by the age of 18, people spent “between 15,000 and 25,000 hours interacting with peers and family in person.” Now this number has been reduced to 1500-5000 hours.DiscussTara Thiagarajan, Chief Scientist at Sapien Labs, says what a reduction in social interaction prevents people from learning important skills, including the ability to read faces, read body language, appropriate emotional responses, etc.

The report used data from residents of 34 before the pandemic, there was a decline in the mental well-being of young people. The decline began after 2010, coinciding with an increase in smartphone use.

The following symptoms can indicate mental problems:

  • Obsessive, strange, or unwanted thoughts
  • Feeling disconnected from reality
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

As Thiagarajan says, “The data shows that people are now spending 7-10 hours online. This leaves little time for personal social interaction.”