In today’s digital age, screens have become an integral part of our daily lives. Teenage girls, in particular, are spending an increasing amount of time engaging in various screen-based activities, such as using smartphones, tablets, computers, and watching television. While screens offer numerous benefits and opportunities, it is essential to examine the potential impact they can have on the health development of teenage girls. At Evangelhouse, our therapeutic setting can help mitigate and reverse some of the effects of screen activity on physical health, mental well-being, and social development in teenage girls.
Excessive screen time can have adverse effects on the physical health of teenage girls. Sedentary behaviors associated with screen activities contribute to a more sedentary lifestyle, leading to an increased risk of obesity and associated health issues. Spending long hours sitting and engaging in passive screen activities limits physical activity, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing chronic conditions. Insufficient physical exercise due to excessive screen time can also lead to weakened muscles, poor cardiovascular health, and compromised bone density.
The impact of screen activity on the mental well-being of teenage girls cannot be ignored. Extensive exposure to screens, especially on social media platforms, can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. At Evangelhouse, topics in group therapy can include how social media contributes to the constant comparison with others, the pressure to conform to societal standards, and the fear of missing out (FOMO). All of these issues can negatively affect self-esteem and body image. Additionally, excessive screen time can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation, which in turn affects mood, concentration, and overall mental health.
Screen activity can influence the social development of teenage girls in both positive and negative ways. On the positive side, screens provide opportunities for social connectivity, enabling girls to maintain relationships, communicate, and collaborate with peers. However, excessive screen time can hinder face-to-face social interactions, leading to a lack of social skills and reduced empathy. Spending excessive time on screens may also contribute to feelings of isolation, as it can limit real-world experiences and inhibit the development of meaningful relationships.
At Evangelhouse, students experience the social atmosphere, group therapeutic process, and spiritual tone of campus life. We nurture a positive peer culture that emphasizes social responsibility, accountability, and leadership. The staff leads weekly interactive small-group meetings to teach students character development within their current social interactions.
Excessive screen activity can impact the cognitive development of teenage girls. Continuous exposure to screens can lead to reduced attention spans, decreased concentration, and impaired memory. Multitasking between various screen activities can affect the ability to focus and retain information. Moreover, the reliance on screens for information and entertainment may limit critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and creativity, which are essential for cognitive development.
While screens offer many advantages in terms of information access, communication, and entertainment, it is crucial to strike a balance between screen activity and other aspects of teenage girls’ lives. Excessive screen time can have significant implications for physical health, mental well-being, social development, and cognitive abilities. Encouraging moderation and promoting a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, face-to-face interactions, and time for hobbies and other offline activities are vital in ensuring the holistic development of teenage girls. By fostering a balanced relationship with screens, we can support the health and well-being of teenage girls in this increasingly digital world.