Using too much technology at a young age has long been believed to have an adverse effect on young minds. However, some scientists now believe this is nothing more than a myth.

Researchers at Oxford University conducted research and found that on 0.4 per cent of a teen's wellbeing is associated with technology overuse.

They claim this has about the same negative impact as eating potatoes regularly or wearing glasses.

Being bullied, or smoking cannabis were found to be 2.7 and 4.3 times more harmful to a child's mental state than too much screen time.


"Our findings demonstrate that screen use itself has at most a tiny association with youth mental health," says lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski of the University of Oxford.

"The 0.4 per cent contribution of screen use on young people's mental health needs to be put in context for parents and policymakers.

"Within the same dataset, we were able to demonstrate that including potatoes in your diet showed a similar association with adolescent wellbeing.

"Wearing corrective lenses had an even worse association."

In order to achieve these results, researchers studied three datasets from over 300,000 UK and USA teenagers between 2007 and 2017.

Researchers then put screen time in context of how bad it was for a young person's mental health by using different metrics that removed bias.

"We need to put scientific findings in context for parents, policymakers and the general public," Professor Przybylski added.

"Our approach provides an excellent template for data scientists wanting to make the most of the excellent cohort data available in the UK and beyond."