Screenagers: the digital lives of young people

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(photo, BigStocks)

(photo, BigStocks)

Most teens look at screens for hours every day, scrolling through TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Meanwhile, there’s an adolescent mental health crisis with record rates of anxiety and depression. And last year, a whistleblower revealed that social media companies know the detrimental effect their apps have on some young people—and may be exploiting it. All this has sounded an alarm about the issue of kids and their screens.

But Harvard University Project Zero researchers EMILY WEINSTEIN and CARRIE JAMES say there’s a lot adults have gotten wrong about young people’s digital lives. They’ve spent a decade researching adolescents and screens and most recently interviewed 3,500 teens about their relationship with phones and social media – what they like, dislike, how it makes them feel and what they wish adults understood. They lay it out in a new book, Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (And Adults Are Missing).

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