"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How much time do kids spend on devices – playing games, watching videos, texting and using phones?

How many hours does the common American spend on devices annually? – Maxwell P, age 10

Think about your favorite devices – your smartphone, laptop, tablet, computer or console – the stuff you use to play cool games, watch funny videos and connect and chat with friends.

Many young people spend their free time watching them. It seems that young people spend on average. 8½ hours a day on screensAnd tweens — those ages 8 to 12 — aren't far behind, at 5½ hours per day.

Keep in mind that these numbers are for social media, gaming and texting only. They don't include children's time. A screen used for school work or homework.

Moreover, much of the time spent through social media and texting is seemingly not enjoyable, much less productive. A 2017 study of 13- to 18-year-olds suggests that they spend essentially the most hours on their phones. In his bedroom, lonely and distraught.

These are related to feelings of loneliness Increased use of digital media. In 2022, 95% of the youth had smartphones. in comparison with only 23% in 2011. And 46% of today's teens say they use the Internet almost always, in comparison with 24% of teens who said the identical in 2014 and 2015.

Our team of psychologists Many who treat teens with digital addiction have patients who spend greater than 40 hours per week on screens – and a few, as many as 80 hours.

Think about it: in case you spend a median of fifty hours per week “only” on devices between the ages of 13 and 18 – that's the entire time you'll spend on screen is akin to greater than 12 years of college!

Too much screen time can increase anxiety and depression in teens and tweens, says the U.S. Surgeon General.

Find the appropriate balance.

All this isn't to say that every part in regards to the device is bad. In this digital age, people embark on exciting journeys through the screens of their devices. Sometimes, screens are windows to magical adventures.

But an excessive amount of screen time can result in problems. As humans, we function best after we are in a state of balance. This happens after we eat well, exercise frequently and get enough sleep.

But spending an excessive amount of time using digital devices can change the best way you think that and behave. Many teens and young adults develop a “fear of missing out” – Known as FOMO.. And a study shows that Some people develop nomophobia.Which is the fear of being without your phone, or feeling anxious when you may't use it.

What's more, digital addiction in highschool can predict seriousness. Depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances in college.

Rates of depression and anxiety College students are skyrocketing.. Fear of missing out is pervasive, leading to sleep disturbances. Lots of college students They sleep with smartphones on. and near their bed – and rise up to reply to texts and notifications in the course of the night. Sleep disturbance itself is its major symptom. Both depression and anxiety.

How to Avoid Device Addiction

A 2016 survey indicated that half of teenagers felt they were. Are addicted to their mobile devices..

Being glued to screens means missing out on healthy activities. To achieve a greater balance, Some experts recommend the following.: Turn off all screens during family meals and outings. Don't complain when your parents use parental controls. And turn off all screens in your bedroom 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime – this step will improve sleep.

you may be”Screen addict” in case you:

  • Feel anxious or grumpy when you may't use your device.
  • Don't take breaks while spending hours in your device.
  • Ignore other recreational activities you enjoy, reminiscent of going outside or reading a book.
  • You have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, because your screen time is simply too near bedtime.
  • Experience eye, lower back and neck tension.
  • Struggle with weight gain or obesity because you might be inactive.
  • Difficulty in real-life, face-to-face social interactions.

If you notice these symptoms, don't dismiss them. But also know that you simply usually are not alone and that there may be help. You can find the balance again.

A toddler breaks the addiction to gaming and social media.

A healthy approach

Exercise – cycling, playing sports, lifting weights or going for a walk or walk – keeps your brain healthy and protects it from depression and anxiety, in addition to limiting your screen time.

Another option to stay blissful and healthy is to spend time with people – head to head, not through a screen. People must see it live and in person. A great way to bond with othersand it could be higher for aging than exercise.

Creative hobbies are also good. Cooking, playing an instrument, dancing, any arts and crafts, and 1000's of other fun activities make people happier and more creative. Moreover, hobbies make you well-rounded. And more attractive to others – which results in more face-to-face interaction.

It's also vital for folks to practice healthy screen habits. But a couple of third of adults Says they use screens “constantly.“This isn't exactly an awesome example for teenagers; when adults take responsibility for minimizing their screen time, the entire family is healthier off.

Our research team used magnetic resonance imaging, Also known as MRI., to scan the brains of young individuals who had a digital addiction. We found impairments within the decision-making, processing and reward centers of the brain. But after a digital fast – meaning the addicted youth unplugged for 2 weeks – those brain abnormalities were reversed, and the damage was reversed.

Our results also showed that children who were willing to beat their digital addiction did higher with the digital fast than those that were less agreeable or who denied their addiction.

A balanced lifestyle within the digital age is all about finding joy in screen-free activities – being energetic, connecting with others and exploring your offline interests.