Does your child suffer from screen addiction? Last month I attended the National ACA conference. There were several excellent presentations, one of them was Dr Wayne Warburton, Psychologist explaining how screens affect your child’s brain. If you have children or grandchildren between 1 and 21 or are wondering if you might be addicted to your screen read on…
The human brain wires up every second of every day in response to what we experience.
That is, our neural network of thoughts, feelings and memories constantly changes to incorporate what we learn, second by second
The crucial times are early childhood and the teenage years
In the latest Common-Sense Media Poll, how much time did kids spend with recreational media?
Average time per day
5 hours and 55 minutes
4 hours and26 minutes
8 hours and 56 minutes
6 hours and 40 minutes
In the brain
•Screen addiction, pathological gambling and substance addictions all look similar
Addiction is a deliberate ploy. ‘Free’ games and social media make their profits through advertising and in-app purchases. This requires the viewer’s attention. The game Fortnite made $2.4 billion in 2018, $318 million in May 2018 alone. These companies want you exposed for hours, not minutes.
Addiction is good for business. These companies are using sophisticated artificial intelligence to monitor your and your family and provide you with individually targeted advertising.
Studies show screen addiction is associated with:
•Structural and functional changes in the brain regions involving:
And if that’s not enough screens are associated with a number of health risks including:
Social isolation (which is linked to depression and increased incidence of suicide)
Sedentary activities lead to greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure amongst other
Reduced memory and mental performance
Sleep deprivation - 29% of teens are woken from sleep due to calls, texts or notificatons
How you can help:
Aim for ‘moderate’ use. Ensure the content is age appropriate
Screen free time before bedtime, the recommendation is 2 hours
Look for pre-sleep activities that are calming
Have a device basket where everyone leaves their devices
Keep screens out of the bedroom
Create fun opportunities for physical activity
Make a family plan about screen use and honour it.
Be a good role model
If you believe your child’s posture could be better please contact us.