Smartphones, tablets and video consoles can be addictive. They interfere with sleep. They draw kids into an alternate universe, often distracting them from more productive — and healthier — real-world activities. And they are linked to anxiety and depression, learning disabilities and obesity.
“Nobody should spend eight or nine hours doing anything except sleeping and working,” says Dr. Sina Safahieh, medical director of ASPIRE, the teen mental health program run by Hoag Hospital in Orange County, Calif.