Connectedness is not the same thing as having a lot of contacts on Social Media.
The following is excerpted from an online article posted on CNBC.
Teenagers today are more depressed, have higher rates of suicide, and hang out with friends less often than teens in earlier eras, according to one researcher, who has blamed the rise of smartphones for the problem.
Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State, wrote in The Atlantic recently that she’s noticed a number of stark behavioral changes in teens since smartphones became popular. She argued that the rates of change are the sharpest she’s seen in researching data from the 1930s onward.
Among her findings:
- Teens go out a lot less with friends and on fewer dates.
- They are much less interested in driving.
- They report feeling lonely a lot more often.
- Rates of depression and suicide have “skyrocketed” since 2011.
- The more time they spend looking at screens, the more depressed they say they feel — “There’s not a single exception” among any age group.
Adolescence has always been a hard time, and a lot of kids feel left out or ignored by their peers. But Twenge argued that smartphones and social media make it even worse because when people do go out, they post pictures of their activities—making it clear how much fun they were having.
Twenge also noted some positive effects: Teen pregnancy is at an all time low, teen homicide is a lot rarer than it used to be.
Yet overall, Twenge painted a pretty convincingly grim picture, and her research may spur parents to think how they can limit the amount of time their kids spend alone in their rooms, on their phones or computers.
I’m thinking if cellphones affect teens this way, adults are not far behind in being more lonely and depressed. We need human connection and phones push us away from “in-person” connections and take time away from our time with God.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
Take a moment to think through your phone’s impact on your relationship with God and others and simply ask God if He would like you to make any changes.