Tech addiction is ‘digital heroin’ for kids: experts
Children are becoming tech-savvy in the face of rapid technological evolution, but doctors believe this is eroding children’s mind and could lead to disastrous consequences.
Kids who have been given iPads, Chromebooks or other personal devices at an early age are developing an unhealthy attachment to tech.
In a lot of cases, it makes them a lot less interested in things they used to enjoy – like sports and reading – and can make them stay up into the early hours of the morning, leading to sleep deprivation and irritability.
‘Susan couldn’t deny she was seeing changes in John,’ Dr Kardaras wrote. ‘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 rationalising to herself over and over again that “it’s educational”.
‘Then, one night, she realised 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…”.
‘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.’
Studies have now shown that tech addiction has the same effect on children’s minds as cocaine.
Chinese researchers call screens ‘digital heroin’, whilst Dr Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls them ‘electronic cocaine’.