The smartphone usage which lasts for long hours can do much harm to your body and health than you can even think of. The researchers have found that when adolescents spend a lot of time on your device or on social media, it can lead to suicidality or mental distress.
The findings that were published in the journal CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) has guidance for parents, teachers and physicians on how to help these teenagers manage the time they spend on their smartphones and social media which is much needed for a healthy balance between sleep, social activity, academic work and interpersonal relationships.
The lead author of the study Elia Abi-Jaoude from Toronto Western Hospital in Canada says, “Physicians, teachers and families need to work together with youth to decrease possible harmful effects of smartphones and social media on their relationships, sense of self, sleep, academic performance, and emotional well-being.”
The authors of the review of evidence led by the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) focused on the use of smartphones and doesn't consider online gaming. Says the authors, “For adolescents today, who have not known a world without social media, digital interactions are the norm, and the potential benefits of online access to productive mental health information — including media literacy, creativity, self-expression, sense of belonging and civic engagement — as well as low barriers to resources such as crisis lines and Internet-based talking therapies cannot be discounted.”
It is recommended by the researchers that the doctors should be asking the teenagers to in fact reduce the use of social media instead of eradicating it completely and also encourage their parents to be a part of the conversations.
It should be the parents who discuss appropriate usage of smartphones with teenagers as well as set boundaries in order to reduce risks.
Says the authors, “Encouragingly, youth are increasingly recognising the negative impact of social media on their lives and starting to take steps to mitigate it.”