The brain is adaptable. Television, computers, cell phones, and more constantly keep the mind working at near overload capacity. The brain can deal in varying degrees with the barrage of information and stimulation thrown at it every day, but it does not operate at its best.
A typical child today spends less than 30 minutes a day playing outside in the fresh air and sunshine. On the other hand, they spend approximately seven hours a day watching TV and playing video games or using cellphones and computers.
Adults spend even more time than children enmeshed in the electronic world. Emails, Twitter blasts, text messages, and Facebook updates constantly assault their
eyes and ears—the list is endless and growing. Modern media constantly vies for attention and the more it receives, the more it demands. Some have likened it to a technology addiction. When they unplug from all electronics, many people experience symptoms of withdrawal.
There is another thing that happened to people when they unplugged. Their creativity increased by approximately 50 percent. They became less distracted and more productive. They grew more contemplative, less aggressive and more social. Their mood improved and their interaction with others was more positive.
It is unrealistic to believe the bulk of humanity can totally cut off technology. There are only so many vacation days in which to enjoy freedom from the demands of a plugged-in society. However, it is possible to cut down the time spent interacting with electronics and add it to the time spent connecting with humans.
It is possible to limit a child’s screen time and engage them in creative or physical activities, but to do that parents also need to become more involved in the external world. It is difficult to carve out the time, but those who have done it have found it is well worth the effort.
No one has yet proclaimed from their deathbed that they wish they had spent more time on their computer and less time with family and friends.