Why do we need scientific studies to tell us this?
by Melissa Healy | Los Angeles Times | Jamuary 23, 2019
A precipitous drop in the happiness, self-esteem and life satisfaction of American teenagers came as their ownership of smartphones rocketed from zero to 73 percent and they devoted an increasing share of their time online.
Coincidence? New research suggests it is not.
In a study published Monday in the journal Emotion, psychologists from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia used data on mood and media culled from roughly 1.1 million U.S. teens to figure out why a decades-long rise in happiness and satisfaction among U.S. teenagers suddenly shifted course in 2012 and declined sharply over the next four years.
Was this sudden reversal a response to an economy that tanked in 2007 and stayed bad well into 2012? Or did it have its roots in a very different watershed event: the 2007 introduction of the smartphone, which put the entire online world at a user’s fingertips?