The Moderate Use of the Internet Assists Teens To Cope Better With Psychological Stress

A recent study observed that adolescents between age 13 to 17 from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and average internet use cope better with psychological stress than adolescents with more or no access to the internet.

Kathryn Modecki, the lead author from Griffith University, Menzies Health Institute, of School and applied philosophy, states that the team discovered how teenagers in disadvantaged settings deal with stress. The author added that teenagers are smart and thus utilize technology to their advantage as they cannot find local support.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers set out to find out if internet use by teenagers can be harmful, the study shows how people know little about teenagers’ development. The study observed how teenagers with limited access to the internet and minimal local support deal with their stress.

To acquire sufficient information on the use of technology in adolescents, the authors provided teenagers residing in low socioeconomic areas with iPhones. They directed the teenagers to disclose their amount of internet usage, origins of stress, and feelings five times a day while using the phones issued to them.

The study highlights that online platforms function as a distraction and a means for teenagers to find support. Researchers then used the results to differentiate the emotional conditions of teenagers who utilized technology in excess, moderately or none at all, when dealing with psychological stress.

Another report collaborated with the study, highlighting that the teenagers who utilized technology in moderate amounts recuperated faster after a demanding situation and had smaller bursts of negative feelings such as sadness than the teenagers whose internet usage was minimal to none.

The Goldilocks effect

The author also explained that they found out how technology helped relieve stress. They termed the mechanism the Goldilocks effect. It assisted in easing the explosion of undesired emotions.

Mayo Clinic, a recipient of the study, highlighted that social media was also a critical factor in such situations. Teenagers can create their online identities and communicate with other people. The platforms can also expose the teens to current events allowing them to make friends with others outside of their geographic region.

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