What parent thinks their child needs more screen time and technology?
Children’s smaller bodies and thinner skulls make them about 10 times more vulnerable to microwave radiation than adults.Initial results from a $300 million US National Institute of Health study reveals that kids who spend more than 2 hours a day on screens score worse on language and reasoning tests. Those who spend more than 7 hours a day on devices show a thinning of the brain cortex.
And yet the social isolation and the requirements of remote learning resulting from the pandemic have caused our kids’ screen time to sky rocket, with experts linking increased sleep and eye problems in youth to their soaring use of digital devices.
Data from over a million US teenagers shows that the happiest teens use digital media for less than an hour a day.
Suicide-related ER visits doubled for US youth between 2007 and 2015. Young people are on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades, says Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. Suicide, loneliness, depression, and tech addiction are skyrocketing.
Brains hooked on tech look like brains hooked on drugs, which is why Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls screens “electronic cocaine”. Individuals in the know, including Silicon Valley tech developers, limit their family’s tech use in order to boost productivity, build stronger relationships, and create a more meaningful life.
Wake Up to Safe Tech
Our children will follow the examples we set. Setting healthy limits and using a predominantly wired communications infrastructure will profoundly affect our well-being, our quality of life, and our culture.
To explore how to balance technology in your life, take our DIGITAL DETOX CHALLENGE.
Resources on TECHNOLOGY, KIDS & MENTAL HEALTH
Screen Strong – A site dedicated to helping families develop healthy digital lifestyles
Why you can’t quit social media – CBC 2020 Massey Lecture – 2020