Many studies have shown that social media may cause depression---or not. A wide variety of video games have shown that they improve cognition -- or that they encourage violence. Younger generations are either more connected--or more isolated than ever before.
A lot of conflicting messages about the effects of technology, if it actually affects a child's well-being. Negative conclusions are usually what parents and teachers usually tend to side with, a negative bias towards technology. This has caused a heated debate among scientist. Studies that are showing significant negative effects are usually followed by other revealing positive effects or none at all--sometimes using the same data set.
A Scientist at the University of Oxford has released a new research paper. It was published this week in Nature Human Behavior ( can be viewed in this link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0506-1.epdf ). This paper should help clear up a more solid conclusion. It reveals the flaws of the statistical methods scientists have commonly used and offers a better alternative. More Importantly, is that it uses data on 350,000 research participants in their adolescence to show that, at a population level, usage of technology has nearly negligible effects on an adolescence's well-being, measured in a range of questions addressing symptoms that show depression, suicidal/self-harm thoughts, pro-social behaviour, peer-relationship problems and others alike. Technology use tilts the needleless than half a percent away from feeling emotionally sound. Eating Potatoes have generally the same effect as technology and wearing glasses has a more negative impact on an adolescent's mental health.
Most of the research findings that portrays technology having a negative impact on younger people's minds come from analysis of large, publicly available data but very susceptible towards negative bias. Andrew Pryzblyski, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University and his graduate student Amy Orben, co-authors of the new research paper, found that there are 600 million possible ways to analyze the data contained in the three data sets in their study. “Unfortunately, the large number of participants in these designs means that small effects are easily publishable and, if positive, garner outsized press and policy attention,” they wrote.
To put into perspective how negligible digital technology's effects on a young person's minds are, smoking marijuana and bullying have 2.7 and 4.3 percent of the variation that disrupts adolescent's well-being while, technology only has a 0.4 percent variation. And some positive behaviours such as getting enough sleep and regularly eating breakfast were much more strongly associated with well-being than the average impact of technology use.
This is not to say digital technology post no danger. Anything of excess is always bad for an individual, Like how too much food is bad for an individual, even eating too much vegetable can have a negative effect on your health overall. It's all about moderation, one to two hours per day using their phones or even slightly more on the weekends is not really harmful but doing more could affect their mental health. And in a 2015 paper Odgers and a colleague reviewed the science addressing parents’ top fears about technology and found two important things: First, most of what happens online is mirrored offline. Second, effects really do depend on the individual whether or not there is a positive or negative impact at all.