In the past twenty years, there has been a dramatic hike in the usage of digital technology. This has increased the screen time of individuals, which is of great concern. The electronic world is forever growing, and the number of people involved in it is also increasing. Communication has never been more accessible. Electronically, people can connect with others on another level, like a boon to humanity. Social connection is fundamental to human beings, and the social connectedness provided by electronic devices enhances mental wellbeing and promotes mental health.

Screen time refers to the time spent over the digital platforms online. Using digital devices for both work or leisure purposes is considered screen time.

Impact of screen time on mental health

How technology affects mental health is oddly disturbing. Researchers have determined that increased screen time is a threat to the modern generation, not only mentally but physically. The impact of screen time on mental health is found to be negative and diminishing.

  • Effects of screen time on children’s mental health

Screen time affects children’s mental health in numerous ways; physically, the most significant threat caused by the increased screen time is lack of sleep. Sleep is the most necessary part of a healthy mental state. Children face difficulties in concentration, obsession and diagnosable mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(A.D.H.D.). With older adolescents from 18 to 20 years of age, it was found that smartphone dependence can lead to depression and loneliness. Studies have shown that children born after 1995 are more likely to suffer mental illnesses due to excessive screen time than their millennial predecessors. The mental health effects of too much screen time include attention-deficit symptoms, impaired emotional and social intelligence, social isolation, phantom vibration syndrome, and diagnosable mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and technology addiction like gaming disorder.

  • Effects of screen time on adult’s mental health

Increased screen time can result in reduced sleep or day-night reversal, headaches, neck pain, myopia, digital eye syndrome, and cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance due to adults’ increase in sedentary time. Extended screen time has resulted in disruptions due to the screen time in the mental health of adults. 

Mental illnesses associated with screen time

Extended screen time tags along with a string of mental illnesses and their effects. Following are the mental illnesses and their consequences caused due to ample screen time on humans:-

  • Mental wellbeing- Studies show that using a screen for more than one hour a day can gradually decline psychological well being.
  • Anxiety and depression- People with higher screen time are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
  • Stress- Stress increases with increased screen time which can lead to even more severe mental illnesses.

Prolonged use of the screen can be dangerous and can lead to considerable problems in the long run. Controlling screen time is the wise thing to do.


Even after being a boon to us socially, electronic devices that indulge us in increased screen time threaten our mental health. Reducing our screen times for the sake of our sanity is the way to preserve our sanity.