A surge in screen usage across generations is happening as electronic devices take over our lives. We all know that spending too much time in front of the screen is bad, but how terrible is it really? In today’s environment, children will inevitably need electronic devices to function, but when they have too much screen time, problems might occur. Excess screen time has a negative influence on four areas: social, emotional, biological, and creativity.
So, have you ever wondered how your brain reacts to all of your smartphone scrolling, snapping, and texting? Below, we try to uncover how screen time, or time spent staring at a smartphone, computer, or television screen, affects the growing brain.
Previous studies have indicated that young adults who spend a lot of time playing video games have different brains than those who don’t. Brain scans from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study revealed a difference in the brains of certain 9- and 10-year-olds who spend more than 7 hours a day on cellphones, tablets, and video games compared to those who spend less time on screens.
The cortex, the outer layer of the brain that processes information from the five senses, was thinner in kids who spent a lot of time on screens than in kids who didn’t. Electronic games are getting increasingly sociable. The collaborative component of many of the most popular online games, such as Fortnite, and Call Of Duty, is one of the key motivations to keep playing.
This isn’t always a bad thing, but if a teenager spends the majority of their social time gaming, it can be alarming. Kids these days are increasingly finding themselves with less and less time to practice and improve social relations in a physical group. Being at ease in a group is critical for maintaining good self-esteem and undertakings. Children and teenagers should interact with people in person, rather than through a screen.
In a world becoming increasingly veered towards the digital world (hello, have you heard of Meta?) it is absolutely important for us to be aware of how our screen time is actually impacting our ability to function as humans.
There is no clear-cut solution or any possibility to go back to the way things were before the advent of technology (and we wouldn’t really want that), but there has to be some sort of mitigation of the negative effects it is having on our lives and social interactions.