New Study Finds Screen Time Doesn’t Negatively Affect Social Skills

Despite the “common wisdom” in our society that says young people are not socially skilled because of their time spent on smartphones and social media a new study suggests otherwise.

Scientists analyzed and compared evaluations made by parents and teachers on students who started school in 1998 and those who started 2010. In 1998 Facebook didn’t exist and wouldn’t for another six years. In 2010 the first iPad was released.

Both groups, according to the data gathered from their evaluations, were rated about the same when it came to interpersonal skills like forming and maintaining friendships or get along with people who are different. They were also rated about the same when it came to self-control, meaning, for example, the ability to control their temper.

Researchers reported that in every comparison made the two groups were rated about the same and in some cases the scores of the children born later even went up. These researchers say there is little evidence screen time affects children’s social skills.

Researchers believe older folk’s views on social media and smartphones are shaped by “moral panic” which is an older generations tendency to worry that the younger generation are doing something wrong. It is a narrative that has played out through the generations and with all kinds of technology.