Fears that digital technologies harm adolescents’ mental health abound; however, existing research is mixed. This study examined how perceived technological impairment (i.e., perceptions of digital technology interfering with daily life) related to psychological distress across five years in adolescence. A latent curve model with structured residuals was applied to disentangle between-from within-person associations, in which it was tested whether (a) adolescents who increased in their perceptions of technological impairment over time also increased in psychological distress (between-person) and (b) if an adolescent who reported greater perceptions of technological impairment relative to their underlying trajectory at one wave consequently reported greater distress at the subsequent wave (within-person). These associations were tested in a sample of 2104 adolescents (Mage = 12.36; 52% girls; 48% Non-White). Perceived technological impairment and psychological distress increased together over time. Girls and older adolescents (13–15 at baseline) reported greater initial levels of perceived impairment. Younger adolescents (9–12 at baseline) increased more steeply in perceived impairment over time. There was no evidence of longitudinal within-person associations. The findings suggest that although there is evidence of between-person associations in which increases in perceived technological impairment coincide with increases in psychological distress, the absence of within-person associations cautions against a cause-and-effect narrative between digital technology use and mental health.