A long held notion among parents has been that video games are linked with depression and other maladies among teenagers. However, a recent study conducted in Montreal at St. Justine Hospital revealed that one of the biggest causes of depression among teenagers was not video games but rather social media, or to apply a broader term screen time in general.
The research was conducted over a six year period between 2012 and 2018, and involved 3,826 students that were recruited from over thirty schools. The main purpose of this study was to see the impact that screen time had on their mental health, and the adolescents were required to report their total screen time usage each week.
Social media usage and television consumption were two big factors that affected mental health negatively the most, with social media coming out on top as the biggest cause of depressive symptoms among adolescents that were taking part in this research.
Instagram was singled out as a pretty significant culprit because of the fact that teens that used the platform often compared their lives unfavorably to the polished and faux perfect lives that others showcase on Instagram, and this leads to low feelings of self worth.
Video games, which were considered to be the bane of a good child’s development, were actually found to be a positive pastime, and it was discovered that most adolescents that play video games have a tendency to be more social since a lot of games that are being played these days have multiplayer features that make it easier to socialize during the process of playing a game.