Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type



School of Unrestricted Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Grace Veach


This paper explores the neurological effects and consequences of excessive interactive, passive/entertainment, and social screen use (i.e., recreational screen usage) on adolescents—specifically Christian adolescents. Adolescence is a unique and important phase of development in one’s life. Thus, this paper challenges Christian adolescents to consider how their screen usage might be harming their ability to fulfill their responsibility to “set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (Christian Standard Bible, 2017, 1 Timothy 4:12). By first examining the neurological effects of excessive recreational screen use, I argue that this screen usage can create behavioral addiction patterns in adolescents. Addiction is serious, and for Christian adolescents, the neurological alteration of the dopamine reward system caused by stimulating screen activities compels them to focus on the temporary scroll, game, video, or post instead of the eternal. Consequently, these behavioral addiction patterns can limit Christian adolescents’ abundant life and relational witness of Christ. It should be noted that not all recreational screen usage is harmful as the effects of screen usage depend upon how and how long one engages. This paper encourages Christian adolescents to learn how to benefit from recreational screen usage without being conquered by its addictive harms. Combining neurological, psychological, and relational studies with Biblical analysis, this paper argues that excessive recreational screen use can create behavioral addiction patterns in adolescents that can limit Christian adolescents’ kingdom-focused calling.