Scrutinizing the effects of digital technology on mental health

Does time spent using digital technology and social media have an adverse effect on mental health, especially that of adolescents?

In this “Views” piece for Nature, two scientists – Jonathan Haidt (social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business) and Nicholas B. Allen (Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oregon) – discuss the question, and how digital devices might be used to improve well-being.

Haidt argues that there is definitely a connection between social media and mental health problems, while Allen thinks it is appealing to condemn social media out of hand on the basis of the – generally rather poor-quality and inconsistent – evidence suggesting that its use is associated with mental-health problems.