Tag: study

Study shows no link between age at getting first smartphone and mental health issues

Where we live is unusual for the UK: we have first, middle, and high schools. The knock-on effect of this in the 21st century is that kids aged nine years old are walking to school and, often, taking a smartphone with them.

This study shows that the average age children were given a phone by parents was 11.6 years old, which meshes with the ‘norm’ (I would argue) in the UK of giving kids one when they go to secondary school.

What I like about these findings are that parents overall seem to do a pretty good job. It’s been a constant battle with our eldest, who is almost 16, to be honest, but I think he’s developed some useful habits around technology.

Parents fretting over when to get their children a cell phone can take heart: A rigorous new study from Stanford Medicine did not find a meaningful association between the age at which kids received their first phones and their well-being, as measured by grades, sleep habits and depression symptoms.

[…]

The research team followed a group of low-income Latino children in Northern California as part of a larger project aimed to prevent childhood obesity. Little prior research has focused on technology acquisition in non-white or low-income populations, the researchers said.

The average age at which children received their first phones was 11.6 years old, with phone acquisition climbing steeply between 10.7 and 12.5 years of age, a period during which half of the children acquired their first phones. According to the researchers, the results may suggest that each family timed the decision to what they thought was best for their child.

“One possible explanation for these results is that parents are doing a good job matching their decisions to give their kids phones to their child’s and family’s needs,” Robinson said. “These results should be seen as empowering parents to do what they think is right for their family.”

Source: Age that kids acquire mobile phones not linked to well-being, says Stanford Medicine study | Stanford Medicine

Reading is useless

I like this post by graduate student Beck Tench. Reading is useless, she says, in the same way that meditation is useless. It’s for its own sake, not for something else.

When I titled this post “reading is useless,” I was referring to a Zen saying that goes, “Meditation is useless.” It means that you meditate to meditate, not to use it for something. And like the saying, I’m being provocative. Of course reading is not useless. We read in useful ways all the time and for good reason. Reading expands our horizons, it helps us understand things, it complicates, it validates, it clarifies. There’s nothing wrong with reading (or meditating for that matter) with a goal in mind, but maybe there is something wrong if we feel we can’t read unless it’s good for something.

This quarter’s experiment was an effort to allow myself space to “read to read,” nothing more and certainly nothing less. With more time and fewer expectations, I realized that so much happens while I read, the most important of which are the moments and hours of my life. I am smelling, hearing, seeing, feeling, even tasting. What I read takes up place in my thoughts, yes, and also in my heart and bones. My body, which includes my brain, reads along with me and holds the ideas I encounter.

This suggests to me that reading isn’t just about knowing in an intellectual way, it’s also about holding what I read. The things I read this quarter were held by my body, my dreams, my conversations with others, my drawings and journal entries. I mean holding in an active way, like holding something in your hands in front of you. It takes endurance and patience to actively hold something for very long. As scholars, we need to cultivate patience and endurance for what we read. We need to hold it without doing something with it right away, without having to know.

Source: Reading is Useless: A 10-Week Experiment in Contemplative Reading | Beck Tench

Social studying

I see a lot of music on Spotify and plenty of YouTube video related to studying. I didn’t realise the rabbit hole went much deeper.

The Study Web is a constellation of digital spaces and online communities—across YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Discord, and Twitter—largely built by students for students. Videos under the #StudyTok hashtag have been viewed over half a billion times. One Discord server, Study Together, has over 120 thousand members. Study Web extends far past study groups composed of classmates, institution specific associations, or poorly designed retro forums discussing entrance requirements for professional programs. It includes but transcends Studyblrs on Tumblr that emerged in 2014 and eclipses various Reddit and Facebook study groups or inspirational images shared across Pinterest and Instagram. Populated mostly by Gen Z and the youngest of millennials, Study Web is the internet most of us don’t see, and it’s become a lifeline for students from junior high to college.

Source: Caught in the Study Web – Cybernaut – Every