What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• A study last year found correlations between teen girl suicides and their screen time on social media. However, other scholars disagree with its findings and think that the study draws too many grand conclusions.
• Although critics did not like her findings, it did open a debate about the impact of too much screen time and addiction to social media among young girls. Are scholars studying how to wean more young people away from screens and social media instead of only the consequences of the practice?
• Read more about the concerns over too much screen time.
Being a teen today means wrestling with how social media and screens shape the very essence of your identity. The anecdotal truth is that both can tear you down as quickly as they build you up; friends and followers can turn into enemies while the promise of human connection can give way to profound loneliness.
There's panic over the fact that Twenge's research might be creating moral panic about the role that social media and screens play in teenagers' lives.
Last November, a study published in Clinical Psychological Science found that increased screen time might be linked to the increase, between 2010 and 2015, in depressive symptoms and suicide for teen girls.
While her new study lends credence to that theory, other researchers say it sows unwarranted doubt and alarm for teens and their parents. Pete Etchells, a lecturer in biological psychology at Bath Spa University in the U.K., called for "more sense and less hype" in a Guardian column about the study.
Amy Orben, a social media psychologist and college lecturer at The Queens College at the University of Oxford, wrote a Medium post criticizing Twenge's study for drawing "grand conclusions with widespread implications using such weak and inconsistent links."
Put another way, there's panic over the fact that Twenge's research might be creating moral panic about the role that social media and screens play in teenagers' lives. Casual observers might not care about this debate, but it reveals the challenges of evaluating the potential enormous risk of putting a smartphone or screen in every teenager's hands.
Read the full article on screen time and teen mental health by Rebecca Ruiz at Mashable