Could using a smart phone late at night negatively affect your teenager's mental health? Show Notes

Monday, October 22, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Late-night cell phone use may be hazardous to teens' mental health. reports that scientists at the University of Tokyo recently surveyed nearly 18,000 junior high and high school students.

They found that teens that frequently used their phones late at night reported higher rates of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. 

One physician I know believes that being constantly plugged in to a smart phone can be highly addictive. Given the fact that teens have less self-control, it doesn’t surprise me that we’re starting to see the negative impact of being wired 24 hours a day.

By the way, a recent study of teens buying habits found that a huge number of American teens own iPhones—and the numbers are increasing.

In early 2011, just 17% of teens owned an iPhone. That was up to 23% by the fall of 2011, then to 34% last spring.

Now, according to researchers at Piper Jaffray, 40% of US teens own iPhones.

If your child has an iPhone—or any kind of smart phone, I’d encourage you to set reasonable limits on the amount of time he spends texting or visiting social networking sites.

And mom and dad, it’s not a bad idea for YOU to limit the amount of time you spend on YOUR smart phone—or your computer--each day. 

A great book related to this topic is “Unfriend Yourself” by youth pastor and social networking expert Kyle Tennant. I had a chance to interview Kyle recently and he has some great insights on social networking from a Christian perspective.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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