Electronic Use and the Brain

A Concerned Parent

Digital Native

As a mom, I was concerned about the length of time my 6-year-old spent on the computer, gaming system and other electronic devices.

I wanted my daughter to thrive and feel comfortable in our technological world, but at what cost?

So I began researching the ramifications of electronic device use and the human brain.

After coming across studies, conferences and medical evidence, my concern grew. From what the scientists and doctors are saying, the use of electronic devices can change the pathways and stimuli response within the brain.

What Does That Mean? It means our digital native brains are physically evolving and because we are stimulated through digital devices, other activities (non-electronic), will seem less enjoyable. Our attention spans will be shorter; our motivation to participate in non-electronic activities will wane.

Since the pleasure center gets accustom to the bombardment of electronic stimuli, it begins to crave more stimuli.This has been shown to occur within kids AND adult brains.

What Are Our Options?

Limiting the amount of time spent daily on a device can be healthy for everyone.  Doctors suggest shutting off devices with screens a few hours before a regular bedtime. The light and stimuli interferes with the body’s internal clock.

It has also been suggested that “unplugging” for a planned night a week helps with communication within the family and offers a clearer perspective on how a person can become dependent upon device use.

There are no easy answers. To find out more on the ramifications of digital device use and the brain, check out Frontline on PBS. They offer a 90-minute video addressing the issue, called a Digital Nation.

The New York Times also offers a series of related stories called Your Brain on Computers.

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About thewritegirlforthejob

During college, I began my writing career as a reporter for a newspaper. After graduating with honors in 2004, I continued my journalism and public relations education at Barry University and Empire State College(graduating with a BA). As a freelance writer, I have over 100+ published works and have had the honor of authoring the commissioned book, History Restored. Since starting my writing career, I've edited more books for authors rather than complete my own - since work comes first before I have the pleasure to write. I've been very lucky to be given the gift of having a very supportive family that has allowed me to share my passion of creating and writing and can already see my youngest wanting a page of her own soon.
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