Being disconnected is a greater threat to teen wellness than excessive screen time.
Keith Hampton, a Michigan State University professor in the Department of Media and Information and director of academic research at the Quello Center, says he doesn’t worry about screen time — he worries about adolescents who are disconnected because they have limited access to the internet.
“Teens who are disconnected from today’s technologies are more isolated from their peers, which can lead to problems,” Hampton said. “Many young people are struggling with their mental health. While adolescents often grapple with self-esteem issues related to body image, peers, family and school, disconnection is a much greater threat than screen time. Social media and video games are deeply integrated into youth culture, and they do more than entertain. They help kids to socialize, they contribute to identity formation and provide a channel for social support.”