Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Glow Kids:Screen Addiction, Human Interactive Dysfunction and Mass Social Experimentation

Before you dismiss the information in this post, let me tell ya a story....
I've seen this first hand, long before ever younger children  have become glued to the glow.

-Video games, our daughter and her Sega Genesis. (creepy name)

This was a  highly prized birthday gift. I'm thinking her 8th birthday? And yes I mean, she really wanted it, because all her friends had one! - She put up birthday money she received from other family members and we paid the difference.

Long story, short: Big Mistake!  Our daughter turned into a 'grumpy bear' when playing these early video games. Yes, that's what I described her as 'grumpy bear'....She was cuter then a button.

Her behaviour, not so cute. It was intolerable, over frustrated, hyper, foot stomping sometimes actually making growling type noises when playing- And despite this high level of frustration she would not stop playing!! Something clearly unhealthy was happening here. Beside the obnoxious behaviour it seemed she was  becoming addicted complete with withdrawal like symptoms when time was up. I could see/understand, without knowing the why and what, that this video gaming was really detrimental for our girl.

Drastic action was taken. The action of a proper parent. Gaming was time limited, the limit was clearly set out, understood and enforced. It was a battle. But eventually she lost interest in the game.. only playing it on occasion with friends or the two girls (sisters) also in my care at that time! It was a difficult choice and tough to enforce, of course, I was 'the worse mother in the whole world'. However, she was better off for not playing those games.
Thankfully she was and is a reader! Yes, I read (past tense) to her every single day. Because hubby and I are both readers. With a house over run with books, desperately in need of a room that could be the library. I kid you not! That's a story for another day.

Based on my own personal experience the article below was not a surprise.
Except now a days. It's worse. Small children, as young as two and three, who cannot read, with devices stuck in front of their faces, by lazy parents, as pacifiers.. Yes, I said it. Lazy Parents. And I've seen these children in their strollers with smart phones and tablets stuck in front of them!

Not a way or means for a child to fully develop into a full functioning human being

Still, Susan couldn’t deny she was seeing changes in John. He started getting more and more focused on his game and losing interest in baseball and reading while refusing to do his chores. Some mornings he would wake up and tell her that he could see the cube shapes in his dreams.
Although that concerned her, she thought her son might just be exhibiting an active imagination. As his behavior continued to deteriorate, she tried to take the game away but John threw temper tantrums. His outbursts were so severe that she gave in, still rationalizing to herself over and over again that “it’s educational.”
Then, one night, she realized that something was seriously wrong.
“I walked into his room to check on him. He was supposed to be sleeping — and I was just so frightened…”
We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug.
She found him sitting up in his bed staring wide-eyed, his bloodshot eyes looking into the distance as his glowing iPad lay next to him. He seemed to be in a trance. Beside herself with panic, Susan had to shake the boy repeatedly to snap him out of it. Distraught, she could not understand how her once-healthy and happy little boy had become so addicted to the game that he wound up in a catatonic stupor.
There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers. Steve Jobs was a notoriously low-tech parent. Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech Montessori Schools, as did Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.
But it’s even worse than we think.
We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. 
Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex.

This addictive effect is why Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls screens “electronic cocaine” and Chinese researchers call them “digital heroin.” In fact, Dr. Andrew Doan, the head of addiction research for the Pentagon and the US Navy — who has been researching video game addiction — calls video games and screen technologies “digital pharmakeia” (Greek for drug).
Glow Kids: Screen Addiction is Hijacking Children

An aside: I was just thinking how ADHD and video games appeared roughly around the same time?
Must be a coincidence ;)


Turn On, Tune In, Play Pokemon Go (Drop Out)


  1. bingo.. steal their children.
    coming back later when time to devote and read closely. just a quick scan is frightening, But I must say I"m not surprised given research over last few years.
    I need to read it slowly and make comparisons w/ that literature to honestly comment further.
    Great catch Penny... scary :((

    1. hey karin:

      it is the theft of people's children- (controlling the mind and thoughts) too bad most parents don't get grasp that.

  2. A lot of this applies to me actually. Although not in the first 10 or so years of my life where I fortunately developed reading and communication wise. The Chinese treat this stuff on the same level as drugs, which I always thought was over the top, but maybe they have a point.

    Remember being shocked to see a kid at school about 5 years younger than me who had been playing video games since 2 and never talked, but would 'communicate' by kicking you in the nuts haha. Extreme case.

    Also worth pointing out that games can be educational and social, I've met some great people through gaming and it's not a tightly controlled media space like film and TV. But if it was my kid, I'd say let their brains develop IRL at least until they're teenagers.

    1. Hi Modern Kant!

      " The Chinese treat this stuff on the same level as drugs, which I always thought was over the top, but maybe they have a point"

      I think the Chinese do have a point. Older culture and different understanding of the body

      Ya that kid sounds like an extreme case and yikes by the way!

      "But if it was my kid, I'd say let their brains develop IRL at least until they're teenagers"

      Agree- it's best kids develop in the real world- then there will be more balance and healthier use of the resources of the digital world