“This leaves little time for in-person social engagement. Prior to the Internet, by the time someone turned 18, we estimate that they would likely have spent anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 hours interacting with peers and family in person.”
And now, Thiagarajan said, the research showed the internet age has likely cut that range down to 1,500 to 5,000 hours.
She mentioned that social interaction teaches people how to read facial expressions, body language, physical touch, appropriate emotional responses, and conflict resolution, life skills that are crucial for socio-emotional development. Without these skills, people can feel detached from society and possibly harbour suicidal thoughts.
The report also revealed that over the pandemic, the mental well-being of each younger age group of adults fell much more dramatically.