TV and Internet Are Turning Teenagers Into LonersS

A new study found a direct link between the time teenagers spent staring at screens and their inability to have meaningful relationships with their parents and peers. This study obviously was conducted before that Russian kid blessed us with Chatroulette.

You've likely been at one end of this debate—either you were a teenage TV zombie being told by your parents to go play outside, or you were that parent trying to keep your kid from spending another mindless hour on the Internet. In this battle, it turns out, the wisdom of age prevails.

The study, published in this month's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that every hour of TV watched increased the teen's likelihood of detachment from friends and family 4% and each hour of Internet increased it 5%. Let's break that down: If you're 16 and watch 4 episodes of 24 after school, you're 20% more likely not to like hanging out with your parents.

So it's true, being glued to screens deprives kids of all those emotions that aren't represented with emoticons. Thankfully, in the intervening months since this study was completed, Chatroulette has come and totally renewed young people's interest in interacting with other human beings. And their genitals. [PhysOrg]