Digital Heroin for Children

Research claims that children spend upto 5 hours a day glued to their smart phones, people’s attention spans are shrinking as a consequence of over exposure to technology and those aged under 18-years-of-age should use technology for no more than 2 hours a day. This is all worrying stuff, however if one digs beneath what some might consider as the hysterical headline, “Digital Heroin for Children”, it becomes obvious that not all researchers agree with this gloomy picture. Others argue that gaming can enhance intellectual capacities. A number of contributors also make the point that it is a matter of parental control, for example employing a “no mobile phones at the table” rule and limiting the amount of time children can go online.
As a child I spent much of my time reading and could, at times be anti-social preferring the company of a novel to that of my fellow human beings. I also well recollect, when growing up the concerns about the over exposure of youngsters to television. It was an oft repeated mantra that those who watched “the box” excessively would get “square eyes”. Are we seeing the same panic over the internet as we saw over television?
My own view is that the internet can be addictive. It is easy to go online with the intention of checking if Jo Bloggs has replied to that email only to become distracted by a blog post from one of your favourite bloggers. Being blind I am not a typical internet user as a fair portion of my time online can be traced back to the fact that I am visually impaired. I cant read print and therefore get much of my news via the world wide web. Had I the ability to read print I would buy a daily newspaper (perhaps several) and, as a consequence spend less time surfing the web. When I am online for protracted periods I feel tired and gain a huge sense of wellbeing by switching off the computer and doing something completely different such as reading a braille book or going out into good old fresh air!
So are we going to hell in a hand cart or are we seeing a mad panic over nothing? We cant uninvent the internet (and I wouldn’t wish us to do so), but we can (and in my view should) use it and other forms of technology responsibly (this is particularly the case with children where parents have big responsibilities).
For the article please visit,…8107.23246.0.23739.….0…1c.1.64.hp..1.15.1897.0..0j35i39k1j0i67k1j0i131k1j0i131i67k1.NNPO7t1T7qU


13 thoughts on “Digital Heroin for Children

  1. Lucy Brazier

    Growing up we were always warned about the dangers of watching too much TV, that it would rot our brains and such. Even further back, there was a time when it was believed that books could be dangerous in the hands of the everyday man – even the Bible being translated from Latin to English created grumblings among the academic classes. Where the internet is concerned, however, it is not just children at risk – I know several fully-grown adults who are slaves to social media and heavily influenced by what they see and read online. The internet is a fabulous tool, but people need to remember that it is largely unregulated and should be treated with healthy suspicion. It should be used as a tool, not as a way of life.

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      I agree with you that much internet content should be treated with “healthy suspicion”. Having said that, there have always been (and always will be) those who believe what they read whether it be online or in the print media. In the past the far-right circulated pamphlets denying that the Nazis murdered 6 million jews and a minority of people read such books and where convinced by them. Now the internet is awash with material whitewashing the Nazis and saying that the Final Solution didn’t happen, so the internet makes it easier for extremists and crackpots to peddle their views but such opinions have always existed and influnced certain individuals. You make a good point about the bible. Indeed there was an interesting programme on “Yesterday” (the TV channel) recently, about Henry the Eighth in which the issue of translating the bible was discussed. Thanks for your comment Lucy and have a great day. All the best, Kevin

      1. Lucy Brazier

        You are so right, Kevin – ultimately, people will believe what they want to believe – the internet just makes all that misinformation so much more readily available. Also – Yesterday is my absolute favourite TV channel – some real gems on there! Have a great day too Kevin 🙂

  2. novelistbaba

    technology is good……..because it helps us……we use it to simplify things………and it should be just that………not masters of us……but…….well the title of that article is apt. 🙂 🙂

  3. wendyunsworth

    As with everything a little moderation is, I think, a good idea. Our grandchildren like to play minecraft which has sparked a real interest in our six year old granddaughter for rocks and minerals. We bought her some of the real ‘treasures’ for her birthday. I have also noticed how many words she can read on there from the inventory of rocks and tools.
    Over use is never going to be a good thing though, and ensuring items on YouTube etc are age- appropriate is more of a problem a time goes on.
    But the internet is also a wonderful tool and a great aid for communication so I would say that it isn’t a problem at all -only the ways we choose to use it.

  4. Sue Vincent

    Technology is wonderful and I love that there is so much knowledge at our fingertips these days. Like Books, video games and TV, the danger lies in basing your life upon it rather than using it to enhance life. We aren’t going to stop it from being a part of our world…we just have to be responsible with it and teach our children there is a life beyond the screen. And show them it is worth living.


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