Technology is changing our world rapidly.


The Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain, and Psychological Development at the University of North Carolina conducts rigorous scientific research to understand the impact of technology and social media on the developing mind and brain.

Screenshot of Mitch Prinstein on C-Span
Screenshot of Eva Telzer on CNN

A National Leader

Carolina researchers at the Winston Center are a leading authority on how technology and social media impact the developing mind and brain. Our experts and research studies are frequently featured in the media and provide guidance to national officials.

Research + Expertise

Teen using mobile phone

Social media use may alter how teens’ brains develop

See the Winston Center’s groundbreaking study, published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2023.

Teen walking and looking at mobile phone

National leaders turn to Winston Center experts to shape social media recommendations

Winston Center co-directors helped develop the APA’s Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence and have testified before the U.S. Senate.

Kid using phone at night in bed

Social media use leads to poor sleep habits

Studies show using social media within one hour of bedtime leads to less sleep, which can disrupt neurological development in adolescent brains.


Headshot of Jim White

Social media is here to stay. So we need to teach kids how to get the best they can from it and avoid the worst.” Mitch Prinstein, Co-Director, Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain, and Psychological Development

The Handbook of Adolescent Digital Media Use and Mental Health is a leading resource for researchers and policymakers interested in studying the impacts of technology and social media. The handbook, produced by the Winston Center, is available to view for free.

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Teens + Social Media


Number of teens who report using social media.


Times a day, on average, that teens pick up their phones.


Number of teens who say they use social media “almost constantly.”

Sources: Winston National Center Research, Pew Research Center