Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy. 6 Ways Electronic screen time makes kids angry, depressed and unmotivated. by Victoria L.Dunkley M.D. Psychology Today. Accessed Jan 14, 2016
“Children or teens who are “revved up” and prone to rages or—alternatively—who are depressed and apathetic have become disturbingly commonplace. Chronically irritable children are often in a state of abnormally high arousal, and may seem wired and tired. That is, they’re agitated but exhausted. Because chronically high arousal levels impact memory and the ability to relate, these kids are also likely to struggle academically and socially.” (Dunkley 2015). Image from Psychology Today.
- Children’s brains are much more sensitive to electronics: it doesn’t take much electronic stimulation to throw a sensitive and still-developing brain off track.
- Screen time interferes with the sleep cycle. Even minutes of screen stimulation can delay melatonin release by several hours and desynchronize the body clock. Small changes in dopamine sensitivity can impact how a child feels and functions. Animal studies show that exposure to screen-based light before or during sleep causes depression, even when the animal isn’t looking at the screen.
- Throws the brain’s reward centre out of whack. Gaming releases dopamine, the feel good chemical. But when reward pathways are overused, more and more stimulation is needed to experience pleasure.
- May cause depression and meltdowns. Screen time bombards a child with high visual and cognitive input which depletes mental energy and interferes with mood regulation.
- Reduces the time children spend being physically active. Physical activity has been found to promote a sense of well-being and reduced stress.
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