Study Shows Screen Addiction May Not Be As Serious As We Thought

As teens start to use more and more social media and undoubtedly spend a large part of their day taking part in screen-related activities, parents have started to become concerned. When some research showed evidence of the possibility that this high volume of smartphone usage among teens could be symptomatic of a new kind of addiction, people were up in arms talking about the regulation of these kinds of media as well as trying to make it sound like smartphones were causing more problems than they were solving.

However, mass hysteria among the older generation regarding newer forms of technology that they might not fully understand is no new phenomenon. It has been happening ever since the industrial revolution, and the fact that a few studies non conclusively saying that screen addiction might be a serious issue was enough to spark this much hysteria that happens once in a while and that it might not be as serious as initially imagined, and a new study shows that the link between smartphone usage and screen addiction may be more tenuous than we initially thought.

The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry did a sweeping study of the various reports that examined screen addiction found that a high level of usage of smartphones was not as thoroughly linked to depression and anxiety as we previously thought, or at the very least the link between these two phenomena is not fully proven in the various academic texts that discuss this sort of thing even though the news spread as if it was a certain reality that could not be disputed or denied and that it would remain true until the end of time.

The way that the research surrounding this was conducted has not been all that objective, and a lot more evidence is required before a causal link between smartphone usage and depression among teens can be conclusively proven. This shows that a lot of the time headlines exploit information in order to generate clicks, and the public will rapidly accept the headline as truth if it fits their worldview without stopping to actually read the articles that mostly state that a link is suggested but not yet proven.

This of course doesn’t mean that screen addiction doesn’t exist at all. It just means that more proof is required before we can say that it exists, and the research is ongoing so at some point or another we may just be able to say with a high degree of certainty what the nature of smartphone usage actually is.

Read next: What’s the Right Age for a Child to Get a Smartphone?
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