Is “time” really the problem with “screen time”? Researchers have described the negative effects of large amounts of time online and the beneficial effect of moderation. For instance, a 2019 study of more than 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds found that more than three hours of social media use a day is linked to depressive symptoms, while a 2017 study suggested that moderate online gaming and interaction, around an hour a day, is protective against mental health symptoms.