Adolescents who spend long hours on social media, the television and computer are likely to experience high anxiety, says a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (November 2019). According to lead author Elroy Boers of the University of Montreal, Canada “computer usage for leisure is uniquely associated with increased anxiety, compared to routine use of computers for homework activities.”
Researchers evaluated 4,000 Canadian teenagers in the 12-16 years age group. Each year of high school, teens were asked to self-report time spent in front of digital screens and specified time spent engaging in three different types of screen time activities (social media, television, computer use). “These findings suggest that one way to help teenagers manage anxiety could be by helping them limit the time spent in front of screens,” says Dr. Patricia Conrod, a researcher at the University of Montreal, Canada.