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Receiving your first mobile phone at a young age increases the risk of psychological problems in adulthood. A survey of young people aged 18-24 shows that people who used a laptop or tablet from the age of 6 suffer from more mental health problems than those who had them only from the age of 18.
As we know, exposing toddlers to screens before the age of 3 can have harmful effects on their neurocognitive development. But it would seem that smartphones and other tablets also have a negative impact on the mental health of adults who have used them since a young age.
Adults more at risk of suicidal thoughts
Sapien Labs, a neurological and cognitive data platform, looked at the profiles of more than 27,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 24. They were asked about their use of smartphones and tablets throughout their lives. By analyzing their answers, the platform’s experts realized that young people who had received their first smartphone at a young age were more exposed to suicidal thoughts, feelings of aggression towards others and disconnection from reality, adulthood.
This trend, which was observed in all regions of the world, was even more striking among women than among men. Indeed, among the women who received a smartphone or tablet at age 6, 74% of them declared suffering from mental health problems compared to 48% for those who had used these digital tools from the age of 18. The percentage rises to 42% for men who were equipped before the age of 10, and to 36% for those who benefited from it when they came of age.
Raising awareness about the impact of screens on mental health
The authors of this study also state that “mental well-being is further preserved in adulthood for each ‘year delay’ in obtaining a smartphone or tablet during childhood and adolescence”.
Sapien Labs’ chief scientist, Tara Thiagarajan, finally recalls that it is “important to continue to conduct research on the connection between screens and mental health to develop effective policies to support mental wellbeing in the all-digital age to reverse the downward trends we have seen”.
7 out of 10 parents think social media filters have a negative influence on their children’s body image
A new survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of The On Our Sleeves Movement For Children’s Mental Health, 69% of parents of children under 18 believe that social media image apps and filters have a negative influence on their child’s body image. Additionally, 65% agree that social media trends related to appearance (diet and exercise) contribute to this impact.
Because conversations about body image can be difficult, the association’s experts suggest that instead of labeling foods as “good” or “bad,” it’s best to take a more neutral stance and d encourage the addition of foods from various food groups to create balanced and nutritious meals; focus on overall health, not weight; to model a positive body image and to recognize positive traits or qualities in your child that have nothing to do with their appearance.