Screened Out: Meeting the challenge of technology and young people’s wellbeing

October 15, 2015

How does online social networking and ‘screen-based media’ influence young people’s wellbeing, and how should policymakers respond?

Research from the University of Essex published in the American Journal of Public Health found a range of negative relationships between adolescent wellbeing and technology.

The analysis, using data from Understanding Society (USoc), found associations between usage of screen-based media (SBM), online social networking sites (SNS) and various measures of wellbeing and socio-emotional difficulties.

In this discussion paper, the Strategic Society Centre responds to the research, exploring its implications for public health and evaluating a range of potential policy responses.

Screened Out recommends the government to:

  1. Issue national guidelines for volume of SBM and SNS usage among young people
  2. Empower young people through public health campaigns and compulsory school programmes by educating them about how SBM and SNS usage may affect their wellbeing
  3. Compel technology and Internet companies to acknowledge their responsibilities, engage with the risks posed to young people’s wellbeing and, where necessary, re-design hardware and online experiences to ‘nudge’ young people’s behaviour
  4. Ensure more research into the link between wellbeing, SNS and SBM

You can download a copy of Screened Out here:

Screened Out: Meeting the challenge of technology and young people’s wellbeing

Authors: Gordon Cameron and James Lloyd, Strategic Society Centre

Twitter: #sscimpact

Screened Out received extensive media coverage on BBC London News, and in The Observer and The Times (£).




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