Today I would like to share with you Cris Rowan’s article 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under The Age of 12, published a few weeks ago in Huffington Post. Until today, Cris’ article received over 1.5 million likes in Facebook and was shared over 400,000 times in social media. Apparently, we are talking about a relevant issue many parents care about.
Looking at international study results about the impact of technology on children, it seems that there are strong arguments for non-tech leisure time, like joint reading, playing off-line, going to the theatre and doing sports. Here is a quick summary of Cris’ 10 reasons, very worthwhile to think about:
1. Overexposing a young, developing brain to technology (mobile phones, tablets, TV, video games) causes attention deficit and impaired learning, increases impulsivity and decreases the ability to self-regulate.
2. Because of the use of technology, kids are sitting more around and are moving less. While movement enhances attention, the lack of movement causes delays in child development and learning.
3. For the same reason, TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity.
4. Overuse of technology and technology in children’s bedrooms trigger sleep deprivation, affecting school grades negatively.
5. Many studies have shown that technology overuse can lead to mental illness, like child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder and other problematic child behavior.
6. Violent media content can cause child aggression.
7. Kids exposed to high-speed media content may suffer attention deficit, decreased concentration and memory. Without attention, they cannot learn appropriately.
8. Parents’ constant use of technology reduces their quality time with their kids, which can increase child attachment to devices, up to a level of addiction.
9. Children are more affected by radiation than adults, and the more technology we have in our environment and houses, the higher the risk of related health problems.
10. Cris Rowan summarizes that “children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology”.
We have all heart about these issues but seeing them all together in one context, it is quite shocking.
Tech CEO’s are strictly limiting their children’s screen time
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against technology (actually quite the opposite) but we need to protect our kids, take the time to read and play with them and we should never use devices as a babysitter. Curiously, many tech CEO’s are strictly limiting their children’s screen time as Nick Bilton explains in his The New York Times article Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent.
Chris Anderson’s, former editor of Wired and now CEO of 3D Robotics, rule No. 1 is “There are no screens in the bedroom. Period. Ever.” Instead, I would add, put as many books as you can. Why? Just read more here.