I’ve often thought that future generations will look back on those of us who lived through the digital revolution and wonder, “What were they doing?” “Did they not realize the damage they were doing to themselves. The research is already beginning to reveal the harm we are doing to our brains. Here are some stats taken from the presentation The Great Disconnect: MegaHERTZ to MegaHURTS by Michael Wolff and Bradley Bridges.
JAMA reported that each additional hour of television a toddler watches can potentially result in a seven percent unit decrease in classroom engagement and a 13 percent unit decrease in weekly physical activity. Of those studied, television-watching toddlers also showed a 10 percent increase in classmate victimization, and are five percent more likely to have a high BMI.
8-10 year old children spend on average 8 hrs of media/tech time a day.
Tweens or teenagers average 11 hrs or more.
Girls dominate Visually Oriented Social Media Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram
Boys are much more likely to play video games.
The typical person by their early 20’s will have spent more than 30,000 hours on the internet or playing videogames. That’s roughly 3.5 years on the internet, playing games or using technology.
Children now spend more time with the media than they do with their family, in school, or sleeping.
The pleasure seeking center of the brain shows a similar activity pattern on cocaine and on video games. The picture on the left is the brain playing video games. The first picture on is the brain on cocaine, the second, the brain on video games.
Compared with the group that played nonviolent video games, the group that played the violent video game demonstrated less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain, which are involved in inhibition, concentration and self-control, and more activation in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal.
Frequent multi-taskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another.
University of London found people who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines similar to if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8 year old child.
University of Sussex compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multi-taskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.
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