Smartphones and the Gen Z mental health crisis

The co-Founder of My Food Bag and founder and co-CEO of primary health care provider Tend Health, Cecelia Robinson recently penned an article on Gen Z’s mental health crisis and the significant role smartphones play in the deteriorating mental health of this generation. Some of the article’s key points include:

  1. Increased Screen Time:
    • Gen Z spends a substantial amount of time on smartphones, leading to reduced face-to-face interactions, which are essential for developing social skills and emotional intelligence.
  2. Social Media Impact:
    • Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok create a constant comparison culture, where teens compare their lives to the often unrealistic portrayals they see online.
    • This comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression.
  3. Sleep Disruption:
    • The blue light emitted by smartphones interferes with sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders, which are directly linked to poor mental health.
  4. Cyberbullying:
    • The anonymity provided by the internet has led to an increase in cyberbullying, which has severe emotional and psychological effects on teens.
  5. Addictive Nature of Apps:
    • Many apps are designed to be addictive, encouraging prolonged use which can interfere with real-life activities and responsibilities, leading to increased stress and mental health issues.
  6. Reduced Physical Activity:
    • Increased time spent on smartphones often comes at the expense of physical activity, contributing to physical health issues that can also affect mental well-being.
  7. Distraction and Academic Performance:
    • Smartphones are a constant source of distraction, negatively impacting academic performance and increasing stress levels.
  8. Solutions and Recommendations:
    • Encouraging mindful use of technology and promoting digital detoxes.
    • Parents and educators setting boundaries and leading by example.
    • Developing policies and programs to educate young people about the healthy use of technology and the importance of balancing screen time with other activities.

Robinson argues that while smartphones have numerous benefits, their overuse and the way they are integrated into daily life contribute significantly to the mental health crisis among Gen Z. Addressing these issues may mitigate some of the negative effects on this generation’s mental health.

Original story found here

We also have American social psychologist and author of “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness” speaking on the subject (via zoom) at our annual Forum on the Family 2024.  


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