Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Impact of Media Use on Adolescent's Mental Health and Well-Being

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Impact of Media Use on Adolescent's Mental Health and Well-Being

Article excerpt

Recent advancement in media has influenced the global communication processes. New studies all over the world during the turn of the new millennium, on the impact of new media reveals many important and interesting facts. There is no doubt that today's adolescents are confronted with a media environment that is very different from the one faced by their grandparents or even their parents. Children today live in a multi device, multiplatform, multichannel world(CAR, 2007). New media include the internet, multimedia, mobile phone, gaming or animation and many others. Many homes are equipped with CD and DVD players, personal computers, wireless internet access, and multimedia cell phone. Adolescents today are surrounded by media (Rideout, 2005). Today new technologies are proliferating, merging, and becoming more interactive, realistic and commercial in nature. At the same time, media use is, at, an, all, time high. Youth today spend anywhere from one third to half of their working hours with some form of media. They are engaging in more than one media activity at a time, called "Multimedia Tasking" (Foehr, 2006).

New media refers to the variety of devices most popularly used for conversation, education and entertainment purposes including computers (internet access, online games and other computer games), cell phone (phone calls and text messages), console video games and television (television shows and movies shows on television or play on a VCR and DVD players) (Dehmler, 2009).

Studies of adolescent's online activities found that they predominately use the internet to communicate with friends by instant messenger and email, for entertainment purposes, for social networking and for playing online computer games (Willoughby, 2008). In recent years, adolescent's cell phone ownership has rapidly increased. Research on adolescent's television viewing habits is also extensive.

As adolescent's use of new media (television, computer, and cell phone) has increased, research has been conducted to explore its effects on adolescent's mental health and well-being. Chan and Rabinowitz, (2006) survey found that adolescents who play more than one hour of video or computer games daily were rated as having more attention difficulties than those who spent less than an hour each day playing the games. The amount of time of television viewing affected adolescent's ability to attend in school (Dorey et al.,2010).

Mobile phone has dramatically altered the forms of human communication or interaction through space or time (Mortberg, 2003). As a new media, mobile phone and television occupy an integral place in adolescent's lives, not as a means of social differentiation but as an important part of social networking. In October 2005, India had 68 millennium users of cell phone.

Internet has emerged as a session's media option among the Indian adolescents (Optimum media solution-OMS). New media has occupied professionals, corporates, domestic services, internet users, observers and even common man. The new media impact along with its expansion has affected the life styles and behavioral pattern of every person in the society.

The effect of new media on the mental health and well-being of adolescents is profound. Thus, it is important for researchers and mental health professionals who discuss with adolescents parents, their exposure to new media including television, internet and cell phone so that prevention can be made for improvement of mental health and well-being of adolescents.

Television has the capacity to initiate both positive and negative effects, and numerous investigations have been conducted on the impact of television on adolescents. These results indicate that heavy television viewing affects adolescent's mental health and well-being. Still research is going on into the effects of television on adolescents (Dietz& Gortmaker, 1985; Strasburger, 1986).

In a modem educational context internet is an essential component of the new literacy, something in which adolescents need to be fluent. …

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