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Are smartphones making teens unhappy?

AFP Relaxnews / 02:46 PM January 24, 2018

New research in the United States has added to the growing body of evidence that
technology could be affecting our mental health, finding that teenagers who spend a large
amount of time on their smartphone are more likely to be unhappy.
Carried out by researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia,
the study gathered data from surveys of 1.1 million 8th, 10th, and 12th graders across the
U.S. who were asked about how much time they spent on their digital devices, their real-
life social interactions with others, and their overall happiness.
On average, those who spent more time in front of screen devices, for example texting
friends, playing computer games, or using social media, reported being less happy than
those who spent more time partaking in non-screen activities such as sports, reading
newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction.
Lead author Jean M. Twenge commented on the findings saying that an increase in
screen time is the likely cause of this unhappiness, adding that, “Although this study can’t
show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to
unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use.”
The study also found that the drop in young people’s life satisfaction, self-esteem and
happiness which occurred after 2012 also coincided with the sudden increase in
smartphone use and other screen devices, with 2012 the year that the percentage of
Americans who owned a smartphone rose above 50 percent, Twenge noted.
“By far the largest change in teens’ lives between 2012 and 2016 was the increase in the
amount of time they spent on digital media, and the subsequent decline in in-person social
activities and sleep,” she said. “The advent of the smartphone is the most plausible
explanation for the sudden decrease in teens’ psychological well-being.”
However, quitting digital media altogether also doesn’t seem to be the answer, with the
team finding that those who spent a small amount of time in front of a screen (a little less
than an hour a day) were actually the happiest. It was after this daily hour of screen time
that unhappiness levels steadily rose as screen time also rose.
“The key to digital media use and happiness is limited use,” Twenge said. “Aim to spend
no more than two hours a day on digital media, and try to increase the amount of time
you spend seeing friends face-to-face and exercising; two activities reliably linked to
greater happiness.”

1. Do you agree with the data presented by the author? Why?

Personally, I agree on the data presented by the author. Technically speaking, there are
basis for evidences that fitted according to the study. He mentions the study conducted
by the University of Georgia and San Diego University intertwined by the exact number
of data from the surveys and as to their study he took more on effects of the technology
to the mental health of the teenagers mostly on 8th 10th and 12th graders.

On the other way around, I do agree that teenager that mostly spent more time on phone
and internet are experiencing this type of disorder whenever they got addicted on. And,
the teenager who took less time on screen have the probability to become happier than
anyone because they took more time on the real world and enjoying the life as a teenager
rather than spending with nonsense upbringing.

2. What are the effects of prolonged screen time to the respondents of the study?

The effects of prolonged screen time to the respondents according to the study is that
technology really changes the simple way of upbringing and traditional life of teenager.
People who take more time on screen affects their mental health and the way of thinking
towards somethings. Another is that, the teenager who are happier is the teenager who
are mostly interacting with one another, participating in a group activity like sports and
other recreational activity. In this way, they more practical on life must be.
Looking to their usage of smartphone, people tend to decrease their self-satisfaction, self-
esteem and self-confidence as a teenager.

3. What conclusion did you form after reading and analyzing the article? Support your
answer with pieces of evidence.
In a modernize society we as a teenager must DISCONNECT and RECONNECT.
Disconnect to the wrong usage and addiction through technology it may seem as a helpful
platform, but it also changes us a whole. Reconnect to the things that focused mainly on
the growth and holistically development through verbal communication. There’s much
more, things we can help ourselves to grow with technology. Technology provide an
easier and comfortable life, but the reality was people makes technology the world that
goes around them.

Attitude is the only key towards the consumption of time on the screen devices. If a person
must already know how to control temptation and the rest will be follow. It’s not just easy
but it can be possible. Together, we can be an influencer to help others to spend more
time on social integration and interactions.


Provided pieces of evidence, supporting details, and
Content 10
factual scenarios
Expressed the points in clear and logical arrangement of
Organization of ideas 8
ideas in the paragraph
Used correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and
Grammar 7
Total 25

If you will invent a device that will help in the advancement of communication, what would
it be and why? Draw a sketch of the device and provide a short description of the things
that it can do and how it works. Submit your answer on Feb. 16, 2019


Provided unique and plausible details and descriptions.
Content 10
Illustrated the device clearly with proper labels.
Expressed the points in clear and logical arrangement of
Organization of ideas 8
ideas in the paragraph
Used correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and
Grammar 7
Total 25