Digital Addiction: A future epidemic or scare mongering?
The last decade has seen a proliferation of mobile digital devices where people spend considerable time consuming digital media, taking photos, texting, and being active on social media. Many researchers claim that this heavy exposure to screens is detrimental to the physical, mental, social and emotional health of users. Spending more time on these digital devices instead of engaging in face-to-face and real-world experiences is said to be particularly damaging to young children’s healthy growth and development. Is there sufficient scientific evidence for these fears or is this mere scare mongering? Others argue that the dire warnings are only the typical anxieties generated by any new technology. They point to similar concerns when books and television were introduced, and focus on the considerable benefits of the digital era such as increased access to information and being interconnected with the wider world. Are we witnessing a fundamental technological problem or an opportunity?
On January 20, 2018, a panel of experts discussed the science and societal dimensions of this timely issue.
Watch the program!
Conan Nolan – moderator
NBC4 Chief Political Reporter and Anchor of News Conference.
Professor of Psychiatry, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA
Co-director, UCLA Gambling Studies Program
Director, UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
Chair, Department of Child & Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles
Associate Director, Children’s Digital Media Center @ Los Angeles (UCLA/CSULA)
Lecturer, Department of Applied Psychology at the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor of Research, Interactive Media & Games Division, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Director, USC Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center
Resources for further reading:
Articles on the web
Are your digital devices rewiring your brain?
How digital devices affect infants and toddlers
Children and adolescents and digital media
Children and electronic media: how much is too much?
Media and young children’s learning
Your brain on computers
Here's what science says about how digital technology REALLY affects our brains
Internet addiction changes brain similar to cocaine: study
How electronic devices affect sleep
It’s digital heroin: how screens turn kids into psychotic junkies
Why calling screen time “digital heroin” is digital garbage
Parenting for a digital future
3 Ways electronic media harm kids’ health and 3 ways they can help
Young children in the digital age
Irresistible: Why you are addicted to technology and how to set yourself free
The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains
Mind Change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains