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Of Children and Rats
March 7, 2021 at 6:00 pm EST
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In this Interintellect Salon, fellow Interintellect Violeta (aka, Maman Lunettes ?) will examine a modern contention:
Children who have lots of screen time early in life will be easily distractible adults, with rewired brains.
Or so we hear, from studies on juvenile rats.
But we’re left with many questions after reading such headlines as we’re raising children in these most weird of times.
What *is* screen time even?
- Do video games that teach morals count? They might be closer to John Dewey’s progressive program of Education through Occupations than most of everything we see in civic ed classes in schools.
- What about really tasteful TikToks? Or the art of meme?
- Or the hours spent by an obsessed (not even famous) YouTuber on video editing – which could get her a paid gig at 13?
- Or the years spent on gaming that more often than not turn into a successful coding career (or a trading money-making hobby)?
- Mindfulness apps that reduce anxiety?
- How many hours is too much? Are there some hard numbers we could feel confident about?
- How temperate should we be in endorsing educational games, if only for their poor quality?
- Can we all agree on some obvious harmful effects that grandma could point out with no need for poorly replicated studies?
- What about age appropriateness? Starting Instagram at 10 is a qualitatively different experience than starting at 15.
- And do girls suffer more in the big wild online? While boys get more deeply and irrevocably addicted?
These are some questions Violeta (aka, Maman Lunettes ?) will explore in her Salon. She’s especially excited to hear from young adults whose age is between hers and her children’s generation. She’s sure to be missing out on something because she grew up in a different time, just as kids immersed into the overstimulation and uberconnectedness of the day may be oblivious to their own conditioning.
Some pre-salon readings:
- Exposure to salient, dynamic sensory stimuli during development increases distractibility in adulthood
- The association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use
- Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Nonfatal Self-inflicted Injuries Among Youth Aged 10 to 24 Years in the United States, 2001-2015
- Dewey and Video Games: From Education through Occupations to Education through Simulations
- Children’s Screen Time Has Soared in the Pandemic, Alarming Parents and Researchers
- Is Screen Time Really Bad for Kids?
- Moderate use of screen time can be good for your health, new study finds