Our Addiction: Screens as Little Masters
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
It’s not rational but addiction isn’t rational: the constant staring at screens over interacting with real life.
But it’s the impact on the developing brains of kids that's most dramatic and even a little terrifying.
Study after study, year after year, all point to the same, wide-ranging results about the over-consumption of digital media on a growing brain. All the texting and surfing and scrolling and playing and chatting and streaming has repeatedly been linked to the development of ADHD, lower levels of happiness, depression, lower self-esteem, less empathy, increased apathy and a general lower psychological well-being.
Kids today spend 5-15 hours a day on average staring at screens. The technology addiction is no different than addictions to eating, smoking, drinking or drugs.
Studies link childhood ADHD to later adult substance abuse and even criminal activity. At the very least, we’re likely raising a generation with a hard time focusing, drawn to distraction and in need of constant stimulation.
All the time spent on devices is also cutting into sleep and much-needed physical activity, increasing levels of obesity and having severe health impacts. Some estimate that the current generation will be the first in history to die earlier than their own parents.
Today children spend 90% of their time indoors, less time than prisoners. This separation from the natural world is just exacerbating the effects of the digital media overload.
In contrast, time in nature has shown to improve mental well-being, reduce anxiety levels, increase problem-solving ability, boost self-esteem and increase generosity and kindness.
For all the effort and yes, pressure put on our kids to achieve in school and in sports and other extracurriculars in hopes of college and success beyond, why wouldn't we also want to prepare their focus, attention spans, problem-solving and creative abilities, self-esteem and the perseverance they will need once they get there?
In some ways, this tech compulsion is the world’s largest experiment and we're now seeing just the beginning of the impact to come.
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