Scant harm seen in digital technology use

A scientific paper published this week argues that the association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use is insignificant. The University of Oxford researchers used data from more than 350,000 teens asking questions about depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, social behaviour and peer-relationship problems.

Scientific American says: "Technology use tilts the needle less than half a per cent away from feeling emotionally sound. For context, eating potatoes is associated with nearly the same degree of effect and wearing glasses has a more negative impact on adolescent mental health ... "

However, it all depends on the kid and what they're actually doing on the screen. Earlier studies found a couple of hours a day was not harmful but longer engagement could be. Negative effects of technology depended on other issues a user might have.

Like taking candy off a baby

Writer Nicole Cliffe asked her Twitter followers for the most over-the-top lies they told for personal gain. Alexa McKenna shared this ... "When I was a kid I took my little sister's money and taped it to a fake plant we had in the house and convinced her it was a money tree. I was kind enough to split the cash with her. I also used to trade her dimes for pennies. I told her they were bigger and therefore worth more."

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Dumb things we do

1.

"When I was 18 I bought an electric tooth brush. I would apply toothpaste to the bristles, turn it on and try to shove it in my mouth as fast as possible without slinging the paste everywhere ... One morning my then girlfriend looked at me and asked, "why don't you turn it on after you put it in your mouth?"

2.

"My dad's brother couldn't understand why he liked taking baths and asked: 'Do the taps hitting your back not annoy you?' Turns out that when they were bathed together as kids he was put at the tap end and he thought that was where you sat!"

(Source: Twitter @cowboyfox_)

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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz