Not All Screen Time Is Created Equal?

What it is: A new study suggests that screen time alone isn’t to blame for rising rates of teen depression and anxiety. Rather, screen time dedicated to social media might be the culprit.

Why it’s new-ish: The study examined 6,595 12- to 15-year-olds for possible connections between time spent on social media and adverse behaviors or decreased mental health. It found that “three hours of social media correlated with higher rates of mental health issues, even after adjusting for a history of such problems.” But, as the study’s lead author points out, more than making the three hours a hard-and-fast cutoff (especially since the study depended on participants self-reporting social media use and mental states), the reaction should be: 1. to acknowledge that social media does have adverse effects on mental health; 2. to incite further research; and 3. to encourage us all to have healthy boundaries around social media.