Nonstop notifications from social media websited cause young people to have problems to concentrate for long periods of time, researchers said.
“More frequent use of digital media may be associated with development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms,” said Professor of Preventative Medicine, Adam Leventhal of University of Southern California, in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Further research is needed to see whether the association is caused by social media alone but scientists suggested that the distraction and instant gratification could aggravate the disorder.
The scientists asked 2,800 15 and 16-year-olds at 10 different schools in Los Angeles County to fill out surveys about ADHD symptoms and their social media use.
The ADHD survey asked students to evaluate whether they related to statements like “I’m easily distracted” or “I don’t listen when spoken to directly.”
The students also filled out a questionnaire ranking how often they used 14 different types of digital media, including social media sites, online games and streaming films. Students who already had ADHD symptoms were eliminated from the study. The remaining 2,600 students retook the same surveys several times over the next two years.The 495 teens who reported infrequent use of digital media had a 4.6 per cent chance of reporting ADHD symptoms. That figure almost doubled to 9.5 per cent for the 114 students who reported using seven of the 14 digital media platforms frequently.