Children’s screen time doubled this pandemic

Published November 4, 2021, 4:10 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

According to a study released by JAMA Pediatrics last November 1, 2021, reports reveal that adolescents spend about 7.7 hours of screen time lately. This is alarming as numbers have doubled since pre-pandemic which was 3.8 hours a day of screen time.

About 5,412 adolescents from 10 to 14 years old were interviewed about their screen-time habits. They were asked to evaluate themselves on the number of hours they spend online aside from virtual schooling. This includes gaming, texting, social media, chatting, surfing, watching online shows. And how are we to blame them? Children (and almost everyone) has been relying on digital media for entertainment, socialization, and education.

Unsplash by John Schnobrich

“More screen time was linked to poorer mental health and greater stress among teens,” says Nagata. “Despite the gradual reversal of quarantine restrictions, studies have suggested that screen use may remain persistently elevated,” as stated in the study.

It is also stated that different screen use modalities may have differential positive or negative consequences for adolescents’ well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adolescents experiencing stress and poor mental health may use screens to manage negative feelings or withdraw from stressors. Although some screen modalities may be used to promote social connection, higher coping behaviors and social support in this sample were associated with lower total screen usage.”