Saturday, April 13 2024

The first smartphone is given as a gift between 10 and 11 years old in 60% of cases. However, there is a 28% who receive it even
before the age of 10. In addition, in the age group between 10 and 12 years
old, 54% also start to have a social life with the opening
of an account on social networks. This is what emerges from the Italian
research “Adolescents and Lifestyles“, carried out by Laboratorio Adolescenza (Laboratory of Adolescence) and Research
Institute IARD (curated by Carlo Buzzi, Professor of Sociology at the
University of Trento), with the collaboration of the Cultural Association
of Pediatricians (ACP) and the Permanent Observatory on Young people and
Alcohol and presented in Milan.

The survey was conducted between November 2018 and May 2019 on a
representative national sample of 2019 students in the 13
– 14 age group.

With regard to the types of social media most used, the progressive
decrease of Facebook, increasingly used by adults and less by very young
people, and the increase of Instagram is confirmed. WhatsApp is practically
“embedded” in all teenagers. They really can’t do without it anymore. It is
omnipresent throughout their day and has become the exclusive tool with
which to communicate and maintain social relationships.

Mobile phones and sleep

The results of this research highlight the precocity of the use of
technologies by Italian adolescents. What makes it even more worrying, is
the fact that when access to a social network requires a minimum age, the
adolescents in question lie in the moment of inscription:20% indicate a random age while 23% claim to be of age even though they are not.

Moreover, only 7% of the sample states that they sleep at least 9 hours per
night, while 20% sleep even less than 7 hours.

In addition,

72% of females and 58% of males claim to have problems falling asleep

, claiming to suffer from real insomnia. Naturally, the mobile phone is in
these cases the unfailing bedfellow of these adolescents. The majority of
respondents do not turn it off before going to sleep and, often even during
the night, they text with friends. And the effects have a heavy impact on
their rest. 15% of those who turn it off and 33% of those who leave it on
say they sleep less than seven hours a night.

But what do teenagers do when they can’t fall asleep?

44% of females and 36% of males surf the Internet or social networks

. Only 30% turn on the television and less than 10% read a few pages of a
book. It has to be said that insomnia from likes grows more and
more.

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