It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens are turning kids into psychotic addicts

Sep 07, 2016 by apost team

Technology is constantly developing and it seems like it won't be stopping anytime soon. From smart TVs to smart watches and even smart refrigerators, we seem to have it all! But might all this advancement be doing us and especially our children more harm than good?

The children today have never seen a world without such advanced technology. Of course, many new learning Apps or computer games show quite useful benefits: convenient, on-the-go learning, discovery and creativity. But have we gone too far? There are more and more stories of young children getting addicted to playing games on their electronic devices.

Minecraft, for example, may seem like a convenient alternative for building Legos.But does Lego require you to kill animals and go searching for minerals  in order to earn more blocks and simply survive? The social factor also seems to fall away with kids only focussing on themselves and their projects.

A 2013 Policy Statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that children between 8 and 10 spend 8 hours a day with various digital media such as smartphones or tablets while teenagers spend 11 hours in front of screens. And most shocking of all: one in three kids are using such technology even before they can talk.

Further research shows that the brain activity present while children are engaged in digital entertainment is equal to that of hard drug use. They need to use their screens when they wake up and cannot sleep properly without having checked all of their games and/or social media. Other common activities for children like sports and reading slowly but surely loose their importance, leading to a decrease in health as well.

Fresh air and movement simply cannot compete with immersive technology. It is often seen that children who are forced to part with their technology, for example before bedtime, show troubling behavior that was not present before.

In order to prevent symptoms that go as far as depression or anxiety, experts recommend a low-tech childhood. Even the most renown tech-entrepreneurs recommend a lifestyle without too much focus on technology and prefer to enroll their kids in Waldorf or Montessori schools, focussing more on creativity, self-discovery and the outdoors.

Children are more inclined to addictive escape when they feel bored, lonely or at a loss for purpose. Another key factor is that parents recommend alternative activities and also set a good example themselves.

Checking your phone every now and then is totally fine, but a day at the playground has so much potential to truly bond with your child and maybe learn a little about yourself, too. The world has so much more to offer!

Share this eye-opening article with your family and friends and then put your device away!