The Common Addiction
Updated: Jan 21
(THEDAVINCI-CHARLOTTESVILLE) - In the United States, 53 percent of kids over the age of eleven now own a phone. A study done by Clinical Psychological Science observed 2,000 teenagers and found that their technology usage didn’t cause any mental health issues. However, psychological studies often look at the ‘average student’, and ignore the smaller number of young adults that technology might be affecting.
Victoria L. Dunkley, a renowned psychiatrist, says that screen time may make kids “moody, crazy and lazy.” She reports that “screen time affects kids academically and socially. And that kids and teens attached to their screen are less likely to go outside.” Dunkley’s studies show that being outside “can restore attention, lower stress, and reduce aggression.” Thus, time spent with electronics reduces exposure to “natural mood enhancers.” Instead of a doctor diagnosing a child with major depression, bipolar disorder, or ADHD and giving them medication to help them with it, all they might need is a break from technology. Surprisingly, there are also apps designed to be addictive. A study published in Plos One, a scientific journal, supports that internet and screen addiction cause some of the same brain changes seen in drug and alcohol addicts. Victoria L. Dunkley suggests that doing electronic “fasts” may help with screen addiction. This “allows the nervous system to reset.’ Anyone can do this by putting their phone away for three weeks and seeing how they feel. Dunkley says that “this intervention can produce deeper sleep, a brighter and more even mood, better focus and organization, and an increase in physical activity. The ability to tolerate stress improves, so meltdowns diminish in both frequency and severity.”