Why So Many Young People Don’t Feel Happy Nowadays
More and more young adults and teenagers feel unhappy, depressed, and downright sad — that’s the alarming tendency that the surveys held among young people during recent years have shown. According to the latest figures, there has been a drastic increase in mood disorders and psychological distress in today’s teenagers and young adults.
We at Bright Side dove into these alarming statistics and wondered if there is a way we can help the youngsters (spoiler alert — we can).
The acting psychologist in the matter of young adults and teenagers’ issues, JM Twenge, from the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University, together with her colleagues, carefully studied and analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and found terrifying figures:
- There has been a 52% increase in mood disorders, prevailing depressive thoughts, and consequently, suicide-oriented outcomes among adolescents (from ages 12 to 17);
and a 63% increase among young adults (from ages 18 to 25).
Fortunately, people over 26 don’t relate to those figures.
Who’s to blame?
JM Twenge and her colleagues claim there are 2 modern factors to blame for this:
- The growth of electronic communication
- A decrease in the duration of sleep
Social media, various messengers, and other attributes of the digital world affect a growing person to a much greater extent than we think. The amount of real communication seems to have already reached its minimum, kids spend all their leisure time chatting with friends online or watching YouTube videos, the content of which might also be the reason for their mood disorders and feelings of unhappiness.
Since the time spent online flies by very quickly, it becomes harder to set aside the gadgets and go to sleep on time. As a result, adolescents started to cut back on their sleeping regime in order to not miss something important online. However, it’s a well-known fact that good sleep helps the body to recharge, gives it the power to perform intellectual tasks better, as well as feel better overall.
How can we get out of this situation?
Nowadays the ability to reach their kid at any moment seems to be of the utmost importance. Therefore, parents might find it to be an uphill task to lower their kids’ time online or, even more, to try to keep them away from gadgets while in school. Using a SmartWatch can be a good option — you can always see where the kids are and be sure that they are not surfing the web.
Monitoring our kids’ web activities and the time spent online might help keep the parents’ mental health in order, as well as the kids. Fortunately, most smartphones have special options that allow parents to limit the screen time of their kids, to monitor the content their kids watch, and to control the overall access to online activities. Also, there are a bunch of applications that can help parents with this too.
Moreover, parents should always be able to find time to wonder about their kids’ lives and to show support, understanding, and empathy when needed. Could it be that kids try to fulfill a lack of attention from their parents by staying online around the clock? Maybe we, as parents, had better start limiting our online time ourselves first in order to make the growing generation happier?
Do you think the modern digital era has more advantages or disadvantages? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!