Screen time – benefit or harm?

Socrates warned against writing for fear it would result in “forgetfulness in the learners’ souls because they will not use their memories”. A head teacher recently remarked that schoolkids have a habit of outsourcing their memories to Google. Anyway, is a screen-based lifestyle contributing to declining childhood wellbeing?
In 2012 Mayer C et al published a study of 2200 school children. They concluded that screen time is more strongly associated than physical activity with being overweight and obese as a 9-16 year old. These conditions lead on to diseased states.
Today a large group of academics have written to The Guardian newspaper arguing that the conclusion that screen time is harmful to kids’ brains is simplistic and misplaced. They say there is overall insufficient evidence to reach this conclusion. Indeed they feel the content of screen time rather than the quantity may have greater impact.
What propelled these eminences may have been a consequence of Baroness Greenfield’s tech claims published in the British Medical Journal in August 2015 which outlined the negative impact of technology use on the brain.
So as ever more research is needed apparently. Please may that include the impact of microwave radiation on young brains too? I don’t hold out a lot of hope that research will catch up with the technology though. It moves too fast. (Rob Lawson)screen_time_infographic smart-phones-and-tablets
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