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Although children’s screen usage may be increasing due to the pandemic, a recent study discovered a worrying tendency that might have parents yelling “time out!” Adolescents who are continuously online are reportedly more likely than their peers to have chronic stress, sadness, and suicidal thoughts.

The study found that youngsters who spend a lot of time on the Internet have more mental and physical difficulties, even while occasionally looking up a homework question online is not necessarily negative. Around  29,811 school students were polled on their common traits, internet use outside of school, and psychological health.

Most pupils use the InternetInternet for purposes other than education for over three hours every day. Four distinct groups were found to use the InternetInternet more frequently: youngsters at lower grade levels, Females, students from low-income families, and children who perform poorly in school.

Does less screen time improve health?

Compared to students with high online activity, those who did not spend most of their time on the Internet reported improved health, lower stress levels, fewer emotions of melancholy, and less suicide ideation.

The authors wrote in the PLOS One journal that comparing adolescents’ psychological health relative to Online activity time in this survey helps us better understand teenage mental health. The level to which internet time is used for non-academic reasons highlights the need for additional focus and measures to support teenagers’ mental health.

There is a need for online psychological resources for teens 

The researchers argue for more psychological health resources and initiatives to be made available for kids dealing with depressive symptoms or suicidal tendencies, even though the results do not specifically demonstrate that accessing the InternetInternet increases suicidal ideation.

The researchers concluded that the findings point to a need for measures to raise awareness of the dangers to teenagers’ psychological health and to better manage the mental wellbeing of those teens who use the InternetInternet too much. In addition, educational initiatives that teach acceptable Internet use and length of Internet usage need to be designed and implemented as a strategy to lessen emotions of melancholy, suicidal thoughts, and stress amongst teenagers.