We often see smartphones glued to the end of our teenagers’ hands, especially since social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram are becoming more and more popular with younger generations.
Scientists have discovered that spending an excessive amount of time online has a negative impact on youths’ moods.
The team at San Diego State University analysed the moods of over one million teenagers after they were exposed to screens for more than an hour.
They also looked at the impact traditional activities like socialising with friends and taking part in sports had on young people.
They found that teenagers who participated in the more traditional activities were happier than those who spent time in front of screens.
Lead researcher Professor Jean Twenge said, “The key to digital media use and happiness is limited use.”
She believes that limiting your exposure to screens can boost your mood, “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."
The team stated that social media is one of the main causes of unhappiness in young people, with young people’s life satisfaction dropping significantly since 2012.
Other causes include the pressure to excel in school and comparing themselves to others.
Experts have encouraged parents to talk to their children so they know that they have a strong support network, especially during distressing times like their final year in school.
It’s important to show them that they can talk to you about anything- a problem shared is a problem halved.