It is no secret that the number of suicide cases and suicide attempts among teens has seen a surge in the last years. But what you may not be aware of is the fact that the rise of smartphones could be a factor that’s behind this growth.
Yes, it is a little confusing why mobile gadgets are to blame for the escalating number of suicide. There are a lot of factors that can be taken into account. Pressure brought by school activities could be one. Financial problems in the family is another.
However, Psychology Professor of San Diego State University Jean Twenge dismissed the suicidal factors I mentioned above. She is more inclined into studying the impact of the use of smartphones on teens. And it is because of her research why such handheld devices are believed to be a contributing factor to self-harm or suicide.
In the professor’s study, she pointed that the youngsters who allow themselves five or more hours of screen-time are 71 percent more likely to develop suicide risk factors (depression, suicide planning, etc.) The data is compared against the suicidal cases among those teens who only spend an hour of online activities per day.
Also, Twenge noted that the suicide risks of the overall population increased among those who spent more than two hours on smartphones. Now, are you getting convinced that our mobile gadgets really do play a role in this societal problem?
Twenge, however, acknowledges the fact that anybody from any generation may experience mental-health issues that may lead to suicidal thoughts. She recognizes bullying, family problems, and trauma as common risk factors.
But she believes that teens who are not likely to develop mental-health problems succumb into depression due to the lack of face to face social interaction, insufficient hours of sleep, and too much time spent on mobile phones. Well, if we dig deeper into the matter, we can agree that the three factors she enumerated may actually add to the negative feelings that we feel during depressing situations.
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