Parents dating back to antiquity have complained about the state of the ‘next generation’. But studies are showing that it’s not just parents who think “smart phones” are hurting kids more than they’re helping, it’s science, too.
If your kids have been heavy users of their so-called smart phone, then you’ll want to read this.
The ‘Kids these days’ complaint is nothing new. Even Socrates complained that:
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room.
Of course, that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, seeing as the ‘children’ that came in the generations after him included Plato, Aristotle and Alexander the Great.
But does THIS generation of parents have a legitimate reason to be concerned? After all, most of us remember how our parents used to call the television the ‘idiot box’. Is this that same argument all over again? Or is there something more to it?
Studies like the new ‘ABCD’ Study (ADOLESCENT BRAIN COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT STUDY) are already suggesting that the TV has nothing on the wireless devices we suddenly ‘cannot do without’.
Children who use screens for seven hours or more a day are showing signs that their brain cortex is thinning prematurely.
The findings show that children are at risk of deteriorating memory function, perception skills and cognitive abilities, according to new major US study.
…The researchers also determined that children who spend more than two hours of daily screen time score lower on thinking and language tests.
The brain cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue that processes information from the physical world.
It is critical for cognitive functions such as perception, language, memory and consciousness but thins as we mature into old age.
… A 2014 study showed that there is a direct correlation between the thickness of the brain cortex and IQ score.
Of course, it still remains to be seen whether there is a direct correlation to screen use, or if that is due to related issues like lack of activity or isolation, etcetera.
But for those who have kids who have been heavy users of technology, you might want to give some serious thought to just HOW long those kids are on their devices on any given day.
Especially if their school has them staring at a screen to do their homework, too.
How credible is this study? Well, here’s a little bit about them:
The ABCD study is the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States. The ABCD Research Consortium (link is external) consists of a Coordinating Center, a Data Informatics and Analysis Center, and 21 research sites across the country (see map), which will recruit approximately 10,000 children ages 9-10 and following them into early adulthood. Integrating structural and functional brain imaging with genetics, neuropsychological, behavioral, and other health assessments, the ABCD Study will increase our understanding of the many factors that can enhance or disrupt a young person’s life trajectory. Read MORE
As you can see, they’re hardly a fly-by-night outfit.
Maybe it’s time to mix things up. Put down the device, and do something that will stimulate the mind and body, instead of infantilizing it. Get outside, or read a book.
Not sure what book to read? This would be a good place to start:
The Effeminization Of The American Male
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male