Teenagers are spending more time on their smartphones, tablets and laptops than they were two years ago, before the “super flu” of 2013, according to a study.
Researchers say that around 17.5 hours were spent on “daily screen time” by minors between December 2011 and November 2014, and that figure rose to nearly 31 hours from May 2014 to November 2015.
The pandemic of H1N1, named for the date it first swept the globe, resulted in 71 million cases worldwide, up from 20 million cases in 2010, according to the World Health Organization.
Internet usage among the group of about 15,000 was almost double what it was in 2011, said researchers from New Zealand, with almost 54 hours spent online by 15 to 17-year-olds over two-and-a-half years.
“The shift in screen-time among young people was associated with increases in the number of adolescents providing personal comments online, viewing more videos online, and using social media,” the study says.
The research also found that adult students were now “elevated” on their smartphones, with almost 12 hours per day on the devices, compared to five hours among high school students in 2011.
The study was published on Thursday in the journal BMJ Open.
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