It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that stimulation before bedtime limits the hours of restful sleep. Research has proven that allowing a child to have a television in his or her room inhibits sleep. New research reveals that a child with a smart phone or tablet has additional problems receiving proper sleep. Sleep deprivation is a proven health risk and this electronic invasion of necessary daily cycles is preventable.
These devices create more distraction because of the wide range of information and games available. Studies long ago have proven that a sufficient duration of sleep is necessary for health, proper development, and performance in the classroom.
Lack of sleep is not the only problem from the excessive use of electronics.
Previous research claimed that the average teenager spends four hours each day watching television. Adding the time spent on the internet, smart phones, and playing video games, harmful situations which can become serious over extended periods of time are on the increase.
This proliferation in a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of obesity. Playgrounds filled with children; baseball fields crowded with teenage boys and girls; these were a normal occurrence after school and on weekends until the 1980’s when video games and home computers became more available. Today they remain nearly empty.
Violent video games have produced more aggressive personality traits in teenagers. They tend to have more arguments with family members, friends, and teachers.
Teenagers who have the proclivity to develop mental health problems are adversely affected by excessive hours of playing video games. They develop depression earlier in life and are consumed by the games. They often become anti-social.
Other investigations have witnessed problems with muscles and the skeletal system as the result of poor posture while using electronic devices for lengthy periods of time.
A single invention is responsible for a diminishing level of communication and interpersonal contact in America. It has been labeled both the ‘worst and best’ invention in history; the wireless phone.
Waiting at home for a call from an automobile repair company, or to hear results of tests from a doctor, made for long days. A wireless phone meant freedom. However, as they became more available, they became an instrument of abuse.
People walked out of restaurants and movie theaters after someone began to talk incessantly on their phones. Conversation ceased among teenagers; instead of talking to each other, a group of young people were busily engaged with others on their phones.
I won’t even begin to discuss texting.
By James Turnage
Image by Ed Yourdon