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A new study shows that teen loneliness might be linked to smartphone use

Teens all over the world are feeling more lonely in the age of smartphones.

Spam calls on a smartphone
Image: Unsplash

There’s has always been some question and concern over the effect smartphone usage has on teenagers and younger, developing minds. Now, a new study claims that there could be a significant link between smartphone usage and increasing feelings of loneliness in teens around the world.

A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescence shows that feelings of loneliness in teens increased drastically from 2012 to 2018. The study notes that while there has been a clear increase in loneliness in studies done in the US, UK, and Canada, this is the first time this topic has been examined in other countries across the world.

The study analyzed a measurement of several different factors that attribute to loneliness for kids at school. The data trend remained relatively flat up until 2012, which saw the beginning of a sharp increase in loneliness in schools until the next set of data was gathered in 2018. Researches have named increasing smartphone use as a possible contributor to increased loneliness.

Of the 37 countries’ data gathered for this study, only one country did not show signs of increased loneliness in teens over that period of time. South Korea showed no signs of significantly increased loneliness, maybe because more teens adopted smartphones before 2012.

Of course, there’s no real way to say for certain that smartphone usage is the sole cause of increased loneliness in teenagers, but it does make some sense. Spending too much time on a smartphone is probably not good for anyone’s social health, much less the developing minds of kids.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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