A new study looked at how happy adolescents are compared to how much time they spend on their phones and computers. And the ones who were happiest only spent about an HOUR A DAY on things like texting, video chatting, playing games, browsing the Internet, and checking social media. Yes, one hour a day TOTAL.
Kids who got one to two hours of screen time were happier than kids who got more than that. And they were also happier than kids who got NO screen time. So your kids shouldn't spend too much time on their phone. But you also don't want to just cut them off completely. If the Internet is your kid's only way to socialize, then cutting them off could do more harm than good.
The ones who fell into the one-to-two-hour range tended to spend more time hanging out with friends face-to-face though, and doing things like playing organized sports and exercising. So that might have something to do with it.
The researchers also looked at studies from previous years, and found the overall happiness of teenagers has been on a sharp decline since 2012. That was the first year more than 50% of Americans owned a smartphone.