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Do You Have A Teenager Online 24-7? See Why Their Health May Be in Jeopardy

 

Many adults login 24-7. But now researchers say teens are joining in, responding to social media and feeling the pressure to be online 24 hours a day too. This impacts sleep and creates feelings of anxiety and depression.

MedicalNewsToday reported psychological research from the University of Glasgow giving us a closeup of what happens.

Over 450 teens, ages 11-17, were asked about their use of social media, sleep patterns and feelings of anxiety and depression. They were asked how many hours a day they used social media and how long they stayed on, beyond the time they intended to go to bed. The teens used Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube

Nighttime social media users biggest targets

Results showed teens using social media at night were the most heavily invested socially, had poorer sleep patterns, lower self esteem and more anxiety and depression. Researchers say teens feel pressured to be available. Not responding to posts or texts immediately generates feelings of anxiety and thoughts of ‘missing out. As this continues feelings of anxiety and depression tend to deepen as more sleep is lost, creating a dangerous circle.

As I read this report I had to wonder where these teens stood in grades, sports, hobbies and weight. As adults we all know how hard it is to be up late, online, and then show up for a full day in the morning.

Often parents spot this pattern developing, or have already taken preventive steps to keep it in check. They say it is an ongoing game to be solved and resolved.

I have friends with teens who do pretty well monitoring and controlling online time. They also mix in heavy doses of sports, music lessons, weekend excursions and vacations, and one on one time with their kids.

Both parents work, but they make every effort to be home in the evenings and on the weekends. The mother even gave up a perfect job in her field to work closer to her home to stay involved and prevent problems before they became entrenched.

What Anxiety Looks Like In Kids

Eighty percent of children in the U.S. have anxiety disorders and some 60 percent have depression but are not getting treatment. Anxiety disorders also link to eating and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

In our 24-7 culture these issues are not simple, and won’t just disappear, but the more offline time created for teens and parents to stay in touch the better.

 

 Story Link


Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Garry Knight

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