August 5, 2019
It’s common wisdom that spending a lot of time on your smartphone, or checking social media like Facebook and Twitter, takes a psychological toll. It makes us depressed, insecure, anxious, and isolated — or so people say. But is there any research to back that up? Julia discusses the evidence with professor Andy Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute.
- Andy’s website
- Andy on Twitter
- “The association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use,” a 2019 paper by Andy, and Amy Orben, which we discuss in the episode (it compares the effect size for screen time with other things like eating potatoes, or being bullied)
- “The Welfare Effects of Social Media,” by Hunt Alcott et al (2019), the randomized controlled trial in which people were paid to deactivate their Facebook profiles, which we discuss in the episode
- This thread by Jonathan Haidt contains some valuable debate over the screen time research, and links to a Google Doc in which Haidt and others summarize the top studies.
- “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton is a book that influenced Andy as a kid – reread it through the lens of incentives in scientific research