November 21 – We know how difficult it can be with young children, especially when they want something, like time on an electronic tablet.
But watching those screens may not be good for their young, developing brains.
In fact, a study has shown too much screen time can actually impact the structure of a child’s brain. Children under 12 who use a tablet for too long will exhibit poor problem solving capabilities.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “Video gaming was linked to changes in the brain responsible for intelligence and brain volume. We’ve been ringing this bell for a very long time. I know how difficult it is. Heck, my mom would say ‘Here’s the TV Magazine, you get to circle two, pick two’ and that was it for the screen time when I was growing up.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “My mom called the TV the ‘Boob Tube’ and the reason she called it that is because she thought you’d turn into a big boob if you watched too much of it. That was so much less than all the screens available to young people today. They become addictive. We have kids who are literally declared by doctors addicted to these things, but we all feel it. I feel the addiction. Pat feels the addiction sometimes to scroll or watch mindless things that we can stream on multiple devices. So this feels like yes, I mean, yes, I would say the evidence is clear that this is hurting kids’ minds.”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “There’s a push right now to actually put the screen addictions in the DSM, the statistical manual that defines all of these mental addictions and mental health issues. That would be a huge step if that happens, but setting that aside to the research that you’re citing, there is just this ever growing body of research and I would say there is virtual consensus that these screens and social media platforms have a very adverse effect, particularly on children. Twelve, 13 does seem to be about the key demarcation point that a lot of these researchers cite. Anything under that age really limits it. Really be careful. I’ve seen some research go as far on the cell phone issue to say don’t even give the child a cell phone until they are at least 12 or 13. Look about when you walk into a restaurant or a store how many little kids you see with apparently their own cell phones that they’re using.”
In addition, there are now two whistleblowers from Facebook saying internally Meta knew their social media site was harmful to children.
Barkdoll added, “Not only did they know it, they were using it to further exploit people on these platforms to get them even more addicted. I think they called it stickiness inside of the company. The stickier you can make the platform, the longer you can keep the person glued to the screen, the more money they can make in advertising, etc. It’s a huge, huge problem.”