Anytime I am around anyone under the age of, oh let’s say 25, I am astonished by how much time they spend glued to screens. Phone screens. Tablet screens. Tv screens. It’s almost as if you out a moving image on a flat surface, people can’t take their eyes off of it. The phenomenon is even worse for children. As it turns out, kids are also more adversely affected by their addictions to their screens.
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It is becoming more and more common these days for children to be diagnosed with major mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.As children are being diagnosed with these conditions, doctors and parents alike are scrambling to find the source of these mental conditions in standard places like the family environment and surroundings. The truth to the rise in the prevalence of these conditions might lie right in the children’s hands: cellphones and tablets.
The Impacts of Screen Time
There have been several studies that show that staring at a screen before trying to sleep messes with even adult sleep cycles. The reasoning is that the screens suppress the body’s natural release of melatonin. Melatonin is crucial for your body to slip into it’s natural sleep cycle, so when it’s not released properly, our sleep cycles get oh of whack. Aside from a myriad of other health problems, moodiness and depression are both linked to poor sleep cycles. Not to mention exhaustion, which can make kids and adults both unmotivated and lethargic.
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If you really want to freak a kid out, take away their mobile device. Children are experiencing the same addictive qualities that drug users experience. Chemically, the dependence is based on dopamine release in the brain. Just like with drug addicts, children can build up dopamine sensitivities that affect mood and motivation.
Even as seemingly harmless as games can seem on a mobile device or tablet, they are basically a full-on assault on the senses. One of the major things that lead to anger issues and frustration in kids is a lack of focus. When children’s minds are so entangled at keeping up with the latest game or app, they lose the ability to focus on anything else around them. The real world basically becomes an annoyance.
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Essentially, the more time a kid spends looking at a screen, the less time they are being active. When is the last time you saw a group of kids running around a park with a tablet or cell phone in their hands?
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