The first smartphone is a rite of passage for many children. But if given too early, it can impact mental health.
Today, the smartphone is essential in the daily lives of adults. But this accessory has also become central in the lives of children.
A survey conducted in 2020 revealed that young French people received their first smartphone around the age of 9-10. And if it is seen by the youngest as a first step towards the world of adults, this gesture could have serious consequences for mental health.
Sapien Labs, an American non-profit organization, conducted a study on the subject. She wanted to see if having her first smartphone at a very young age was more or less harmful to her health. Their findings were published on their official website in May 2023 and they may worry many parents.
A study bringing together volunteers from all over the world
To determine the mental impact of the first smartphone, researchers surveyed nearly 28,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 24. And to observe the potential disparities on a global scale, the volunteers came from all continents. They asked everyone at what age they got their very first phone. Then they asked if they suffered as adults from problems related to their mental health.
However, it appears that the earlier the phone is given, the more mental complications there are later. Moreover, the most surprising thing is that the researchers observed differences in the sex of the users. Indeed, they found that little girls had more mental health problems if they had a smartphone at a very young age.
Among young women, this percentage was 74% compared to 42% among young men. The disparities also apply if users received their first smartphone on a more advanced page. But the most worrying thing is the lowest age recorded by this study for the use of the first mobile.
A pioneering large-scale global study by Sapien Labs shows that the earlier a child uses a #smartphonethe worse their #mentalhealth is as an adult. While bad for both genders, the trend is worse for girls. pic.twitter.com/2FKpiDh6Jr
— Sapien Labs (@sapien_labs) May 15, 2023
What are the dangers of an early first smartphone?
Indeed, the study reveals that some users have received their first smartphone at the age of 6. However, the dangers of screens and exposure to certain content can be very harmful at this age. The earlier children have a smartphone, the longer they stay on screens, consult social networks… In fact, this would impact their mental health, their sleep cycle or their ability to concentrate.
Even more surprising: the study reveals that having a smartphone late would help develop certain abilities in children. Among other things, those who have their first older smartphone would have more confidence in them. They would also be more inclined to develop positive relationships with others.
Giving the first phone to your child must therefore be a thoughtful act and possibly supervised in the early years to avoid a deterioration of mental health.
#Pay #attention #age #child #smartphone