Sunday, February 20, 2011

Social media is reprogramming our children's brain. What's a parent to do?

In the 2/21/11 issue of Time Magazine there is a very interesting article by Dalton Conley on the effects of social media on developing brains. The constant amount of external stimuli from texting, facebooking, chatting, etc, is decreasing children/teen's capacity to maintain their focus. Each time children/teens get another message their pleasure receptors are activated which leads to increased focus on environmental stimuli at the expense of the capacity to attend to tasks the require sustained effort -- such as reading a book.

Dalton Conley also points out that 24/7 connectivity of social media deprives children/teens of much needed down time or alone time -- which is needed to develop a sense of self. What does Conley recommend? No Facebook during the school week and no electronics after 930pm -- the latter so that teens can get some sleep.

Check out the article. It really helps with understanding that all of the social media that is connecting our kids has a steep downside.

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