While we avail ourselves of technology’s advantages, we should also be on the lookout for indications of overuse. Just as physical ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow can cause damage, too much repetitive exposure can influence our brains negatively. PsychologyToday.com contributor Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. calls this “electronic screen syndrome” – sensory overload, lack of restorative sleep, and hyperarousal of the nervous system. These result in emotional and attention deficits that can influence learning, interaction and ability to connect.
We should be especially vigilant when it comes to the developing brains and minds of children:
“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)
Screen time applies to computers, game consoles, televisions, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Limiting exposure is the key to preventing electronic screen syndrome and a happier, healthier life for you and your children!
Read the full article Gray Matters: Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain (Psychology Today)
About Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D.
A diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, Dr. Dunckley has also been named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumer’s Research Council of America and won Patient’s Choice and Compassionate Doctor awards by Vitals.com.