How much do you spend your day using the internet or scrolling your way through social media? According to a new research, the younger generation, especially teenagers can actually benefit from spending time online–but, only if they have the right balance in life.
Yes! the study shows you can cope with your stressful life if you use the internet towards your gain: finding a time to socialise and relax (as a part of catharsis).
The latest research written in the journal of Clinical Psychological Science unveils that teenagers of the age group between 13-17, who also belong to a low socioeconomic household, actually feel better while using digital technology as they go through hardships in comparison to teenagers who do not use digital devices often or use them too much.
Kathryn Modecki, the lead author associated with Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute and School of Applied Psychology has said, “There has been a tendency to assume that technology use by teens is negative and harmful, but such a broad assumption isn’t borne out by what we know about the developmental stage of adolescence.”
How did the researchers come to this conclusion?
The research is conducted by giving smartphone devices (iPhones) to a sample of 200 above teenagers who are living in low socio-economic environments.
The participants have been told to report their time of usage, stressors, and emotions five times a day for a week using the phone, or digital activity they usually use in everyday life. The data has compared the stress levels of participants with the time they usually spend using digital technology.
The results confirm that youngsters with moderate use of technology after facing a stressful situation jumped back more quickly and encountered fewer levels of negative emotions like sorrows and depression, in comparison to the youngsters who either did not use technology on leisure time or kept using it over and over again.
“We found a just-right ‘Goldilocks’ effect in which moderate amounts of online coping helped mitigate surges in negative emotions and dips in happiness. In the face of daily stressors, when adolescents engaged in emotional support seeking, they experienced better short-term stress relief,” Modecki concludes.
Researchers also point out that online spaces are just a temporary escape from the troubles of reality, but also a source of support and information to teenagers as to what’s troubling them. This can act as a great coping strategy and a technique to balance out stress with relaxation and relief.
This article is attributed to Science Daily.