Health

Smartphones, Internet Are Making Kids Mentally Ill, Claims Psychologist

| by Michael Allen

Julie Lynn Evans, a child psychotherapist in the UK, recently warned that smartphones and the Internet are contributing to children's mental illnesses.

Evans recently told The Telegraph that this increase began in 2010.

"Something is clearly happening, because I am seeing the evidence in the numbers of depressive, anorexic, cutting children who come to see me. And it always has something to do with the computer, the Internet and the smartphone,” Evans said.

Evans noted cyber bullying and online harassment, which are new factors that the previous generations didn't have to deal with.

"It’s a simplistic view, but I think it is the ubiquity of broadband and smartphones that has changed the pace and the power and the drama of mental illness in young people,” Evans claimed.

Evans said that children have access to "difficult chat rooms, self-harming websites, anorexia websites, pornography, and a whole invisible world of dark places."

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She recalled one website where children were sexually exploited:

I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise, but it is where men masturbate in real time while children as young as 12 watch them. So parents think their children are upstairs in their bedrooms with their friends having popcorn and no alcohol, yet this is the sort of thing they are watching. And as they watch, they are saying, "This is what sex is." It is leaving them really distressed.

Evans is urging parents to check their children's history on browsers and their social media accounts on sites such as Facebook and Instagram.

In the U.S., two Maryland 10th grade students were recently accused of using Twitter to cheat on Common Core standardized tests.

Maryland State Department of Education spokesman William Reinhard told Reuters that the Twitter posts included content from a English test, but have been taken down.

Maryland, Washington D.C. and 10 other states are using Common Core standards in their new online tests.

Sources: The Telegraph, Reuters
Image source: Welleman