Screen Time Negatively Affects Creativity
What ever happened to being bored? Some of my most vivid childhood memories are the adventures I had with my friends in the woods behind my home in Massachusetts. When kids spend more time in front of a screen, they have a system dictating their imagination and next moves. In real-life play, children reenact joys, conflicts and foster growing creativity. Play is essential to building fine and gross motor skills. Children use their hands to cut, draw, color, tape and make their ideas reality. In groups, they may disagree on a design and must reconcile with their partners to move forward. This is crucial to their development of problem solving skills. They are practicing to be effective adults. Kids need to be bored. Kids also need supervision and guidance to model effective problem solving techniques.
Follow this link to make a screen time plan for your family.
How Does Too Much Screen Time Affect Your Mental Health
As we live in the modern age of remote education and pocket-size gadgets, avoiding them becomes next to impossible. Besides, why would you want to rob yourself of all the amazing and helpful benefits the technology can bring?
Well, theres actually a significant reason to do that. High screen time, and, mainly, addiction to social media can negatively influence peoples mental health. And it affects all age groups.
Students are in the main danger zone because they tend to use technology for education, work, and leisure. Whether youre a student, a teacher, or anessay writing service online, taking some time off-screen can do you some good. In this article, we will explain how screen time affects your life and what you can do about it.
What Does Too Much Screen Time Do To A Childs Brain
Early data from a landmark National Institutes of Health study that began in 2018 indicates that children who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests, and some children with more than seven hours a day of screen time experienced thinning of the brains .
You May Like: Can Diabetes Cause Memory Loss
Screen Times Affect On Social
Electronic games are increasingly becoming more social. One of the major pulls to keep playing is the collaborative nature of many of the most popular online games such as Fortnight and Call Of Duty. This is not inherently negative, however, if the majority of a youths after school social time is spent gaming, alarm bells should go off. Increasingly, there is less and less time for our youth to practice and improve their social interactions in a physical group setting. Being comfortable in a group is essential to healthy self-esteem and getting projects completed. Children and teens should be interacting more with people face-to-face than on a screen.
Cognitive Testing Found Fewer Skills
In addition to the MRI results, excessive screen time was significantly associated with poorer emerging literacy skills and ability to use expressive language, as well as testing lower on the ability to rapidly name objects on cognitive tests taken by the 47 children in the study.
Remember that this is all relative, Hutton said, adding that more in-depth clinical trials need to be done to tease out the specifics.
Still, its possible that over over time, these effects can add up, Hutton said. We know that kids who start behind tend to get more and more behind as they get older.
So it could be the case that kids who start with less well-developed brain infrastructure may be less likely to be engaged, successful readers later in school, said Hutton, who also directs the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Childrens.
Radesky wants to see the results replicated in other populations. Researchers and pediatricians should take it as a launching point for future research, she wrote. There are so many other home and family factors that affect brain development such as stress, parent mental health, play experiences, language exposure and none of these were accounted for in this study.
Also Check: Do Humans Only Use 10 Percent Of Their Brain
What Does Too Much Screen Time Do To Your Brain
Since phones and computers have only been easily accessible and affordable for people in the last thirty years or so, we dont yet know the long term effects of screen time on the brains of kids or adults. But, we do know that, because childrens brains are still in the process of developing and growing, it seems likely that they would be affected by this technology.
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study by the National Institutes of Health agrees. It has been following more than 11,000 kids, ages 9 and 10 years old, at 21 different areas throughout the United States. According to an article on Healthline, the initial results of the research show that:
- MRI scans found significant differences in the brains of some children who reported using smartphones, tablets, and video games more than seven hours a day.
- Children who reported more than two hours a day of screen time got lower scores on thinking and language tests.
The scary thing is that it will take many more years to discover whether these effects are the result of too much screen time or whether the differences were from something else.
So, does that mean adults are safe from the adverse effects of too much screen time? Actually, no.
Todays adults have been estimated to spend more than 10 hours a day in front of screens . Because the activity is sedentary, this exposure has been linked, in part, to higher obesity rates and sleep problems.
The Lights Of Our Screens Reduce The Quality Of Your Sleep
This one is well-known. The amount of time you spend looking at a screen directly correlates with your sleep duration and quality, according to studies. And thatâs not just because you are interrupted by notifications or the desire to check social media .
Instead, the idea is that the bright lights of your screen stimulate the same chemical triggers in your brain as the lights of dawn â but before you go to bed. That means that your brain is trying to wake up as youâre hoping to fall asleep. And, unfortunately, the more tired you are, the more time you are likely to spend on-screen the next day.
Reading a good old-fashioned book or magazine before bed, meanwhile, can actually help you get to sleep.
You May Like: What Causes Slow Brain Waves
It Can Lead To Weight Gain And Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes And Heart Disease
On that same note, one study of 177,000 students found that insufficient sleep was not only associated with increased screen time, but it also led to weight gain. Its a cycle. Spending a great deal of time in front of a screen, no matter the type, promotes sitting. When youre constantly sitting and distracted by a device, its easy to mindlessly eat or fail to make healthy food and drink choices.
Heart health is impacted by the inactivity related to screen time too. This includes leading to higher risk of conditions like diabetes or symptoms such as increased blood pressure or cholesterol and dangerous blood-sugar levels. Some researchers even claim that watching too much television impacts how long you live.
Luckily, the remedy for this one is somewhat straightforward. Develop a workout routine to keep your body strong, and stick with it. One workout wont counteract hours of screen time, but maintaining a regular practice of physical movement helps give your body a break.
What Can We Do As Parents
There are innumerable factors such as the home environment, social economic status and school which can also negatively impact a childs development. But one inescapable fact is that too much screen time is preventing our kids from doing sports, reading, playing outdoors, and talking with siblings.
Reducing screen time is one suggestion which does not cost you a cent. At the worst, nothing will change although it is difficult to imagine that things might be worse.
An excellent book to help you actually carry out this is Reset Your Childs Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Timeby Dr. Victoria Dunckley. She recommends that parents implement a strict electronic fast just for a few weeks. There can be a dramatic improvement in sleep quality, mood, focus and behavior.
Many parents will recoil from the idea of having to stop their children using cell phones and laptops for a while. The book is full of practical suggestions on how to do this. The rewards are well worth the initial effort and struggle.
In todays chaotic world, having family time isnt always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and importantbut so is spending time with your family.
Lets get started, shall we?
Recommended Reading: Cancel Brainly Membership
Establishing Family Rules With Electronics
Telling your child to turn off his video games while you’re sitting in front of the TV won’t do anyone any good. It’s important for you to set healthy limits on your electronics use for your own sake, as well as your child’s sake.
Here are a few household rules you might want to establish to curb screen time:
- No digital devices during family meals.
- No electronics use during family fun nights.
- No screen time in the car.
- No screens allowed in bedrooms.
In addition, consider an occasional digital detox for the whole family. Create a screen-free night once a week or commit to unplugging one weekend a month. It could be good for everyone’s physical and emotional health, as well as your family’s relationships.
The Effects Of Screen Time On Your Health
Whether the whole family sits around staring at their smartphones or you keep the TV on in the background, too much screen time can be harmful. Here are a few ways your health may be negatively affected by spending too much time in front of a screen.
- Obesity. Too much time engaging in a sedentary activity, such as playing video games or watching TV, can be a risk factor for obesity. Heart health is also impacted and can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, increased blood pressure or cholesterol.
- Sleep problems. The light emitted from electronic devices interferes with the brains sleep cycle and can prevent getting a good nights sleep. To sleep more soundly, keep screens out of the bedroom and avoid them for at least an hour before you climb into bed.
- Chronic neck and back pain. Too much screen time can lead to poor posture, causing chronic neck, shoulder and back pain. Instead, take breaks from sitting to walk around, stand or stretch. Make sure your chair provides ample back support and try to keep the device at eye level.
- Depression and anxiety. All the time spent in front of screens can negatively affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. Experts suggest that higher screen time and depression could be connected along with an increase in suicidal behaviors and lower ones ability to read emotions in general.
Also Check: What Does Fluoride Do To Your Brain
You’re More Vulnerable To Eye Strain
It’s pretty well-recognized by the medical community that too much screen time is bad for your peepers. Blue light from screens isn’t just keeping us awake it may also damage the retina, and eye strain from too much device use is increasing.
“We do not blink as often when we are looking at a screen,”Dr. Benjamin Bert M.D., an ophthalmologist with Memorialcare Orange Coast Medical Centers, previously told Bustle. “Without having breaks during the day, these mini âstaring contestsâ with our screens will lead to fatigue and symptoms of dry eye.” He recommends taking a break every 10 to 15 minutes to look at a distance target, out a window or across the room, and close the eyes completely for one or two seconds.
Key Facts About Screen Time
Screen time, as a term, explains itself. Itâs the amount of time we spend in front of a screen each day. Whether our phones or computers, tablets or TVs, the size of the screen itself doesnât make much difference. Across devices, the effects are pretty much the same.
But before we go there, what do we know about screen time? Just how long do we spend on our devices each day? Letâs first off see just how bad our problem has become.
- Adults seem to be spending an average of 3.5 hours a day just on their phone. But when you add in computer usage for work, the total is higher. And then we relax in front of the TV, too. This adds up. According to a 2020 study of British adults, average screen time is as high as over 13 hours daily.
- Kids between 5 and 16 spend a daily average of 6.5 hours using a screen, according to a 2015 study by Childwise. Thatâs up from a 3-hour average in 1995. Teenage boys use the most, at an average of 8 hours a day. Over a year, by the way, thatâs a total of 3 continuous months watching a screen.
- Itâs a famous stat. On average, adults check their phone every 12 minutes, according to a 2018 British survey. This was, of course, before the pandemic. But as youâll see, our devices can cause problems even when you are not using them.
Read Also: Propranolol Memory Loss
How Do You Slow Down Adhd Brain
Here are some tips that will allow you or me or someone else who loves speed to slow down:Stop. Yes, thats it. Listen. Try this one for more than a few seconds. Look. I know, this is train-crossing advice stop, look, listen. Touch. Smell. Turn it off. Meditate. Build down-time into your day.More itemsOct 8, 2020
Tips For Reducing Screen Time
- Turn off notifications. Notifications aremessages from apps that appear on your screen to alert you of new activity.This triggers you to look at your phone and, more likely than not, spendadditional time on your phone beyond checking what the notification is.
- Set a timer. Use a timer on your phone,the microwave, or an old-fashioned egg timer when you are watching televisionor using a tablet. When the timer goes off, turn off the device and make aneffort to move your bodyâgo for a walk, clean a room or try an at-homeworkout.
- Leave the phone out of the bedroom. Manypeople fall prey to scrolling their phone in bed at night or when they firstwake up in the morning. This interferes with your sleep and can significantlyadd to your daily screen time. Use an alarm clock to wake up each morning andleave your phone on a small table outside your bedroom door each night.
This post isnot intended to cover all health problems associated with screen time. If youhave concerns about screen time and consequences on your health, such as eyestrain, back issues or symptoms of depression, schedulean appointment with your doctor.
Don’t Miss: Can Brain Freeze Kill You
Questions About Screen Time Remain
The brain scans showed that kids with lots of screen time had a premature thinning of the cortex. This outermost layer of the brain processes different types of information from the senses.
Thats typically thought to be a maturational process, Dowling said in the CBS interview. So what we would expect to see later is happening a little bit earlier.
Is screen time to blame for these brain and learning differences?
Dr. Ellen Selkie, an adolescent medicine physician at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital, told Healthline that the only conclusion we can draw right now is that two things are happening at the same time. But its hard to tell whether one caused the other.
For example, excessive screen time may lower childrens academic performance. But it could also be that children who have difficulty with certain mental tasks may be more drawn to screens for some reason.
The same is true of the differences seen in some childrens brain scans did screen time cause those changes, or are children with cortical thinning more drawn to screens?
Selkie wasnt involved in the study.
Dowling told 60 Minutes that while some questions about the impact of screen time will be answered over the next few years, the long-term effects wont be known for many years possibly with more of an answer.
Many newer studies now include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other uses of electronic devices.
It Disrupts Concentration And Shortens Your Attention Span
Weâve already seen how focus has been one of the victims of our devices. We noted above that we check our phones every 12 minutes of the waking day â and studies have suggested that simply having a phone nearby can affect our ability to concentrate.
Yet, when we actually use our devices, particularly online, we enter an environment that just isnât built for concentrated study or dedicated attention. With continual disruption from ads, notifications, and popups, it is difficult to fully get going with a task. According to one study, it takes 23 minutes to reenter full concentration after a disruption. And this only means that none of us are really concentrating ever.
Now, you cannot really take valuable insight from the article or whitepaper you are reading if you are messaging in a different tab, or scrolling through social feeds on your phone. But the distractedness we learn on-screen impacts the ways that we process information in the wider world. As one study puts it, more âcognitive effortâ is required for us to focus effectively.
You May Like: Where Is The Corpus Callosum Located In The Brain