Screening for media use and misuse

Clinicians and adolescents face the challenges of the media age. Cyberbullying, sexting, driving while texting, online solicitation, Internet addiction (eg, video games), and media-related depression (eg, Facebook depression), to name a few - can affect an adolescent patients’ psychosocial and physical wellbeing.

Stats on screen time

Adolescents spend 7 to 11 hours per day with different media, far from the maximum 1 to 2 hours typically recommended. Failing to identify associated risk behaviors will miss opportunities to improve health outcomes.

  • One quarter of teenagers are “cell-mostly” Internet users, stating that they mostly go online from their cell phones
  • One-quarter of adolescents experience electronic bullying
  • One-third text while driving.
  • Those bullied online are more likely to report pervasive fear (in multiple environments) than those traditionally bullied.
  • Pornography is available by typing a few key words into a search engine.

Adding “media” or “Internet” literacy in discussion

Try to add “media” or “Internet” literacy in discussion with parents and patients. This can include topics such as co-viewing to foster communication and accurate interpretation of content, as well as setting limits (eg, parental controls, time using media, or access to media in one’s bedroom).

Last updated Tuesday 28th November 2023