Friday, July 31, 2015

Is your child addicted to technology?

I've heard more than once lately that there is scientific evidence supporting the assertion that sugar is as addictive as cocaine or heroine. This is a truism that is both borne of and funded by the food industry over the past four decades.

The sugar addiction is blatantly obvious based on rises in child obesity and type 2 diabetes in children, an illness formerly confined to adults.*

In a similar vein, our society has fallen prey to a new, growing addiction that contributes not only to the obesity problem in children but to insomnia, inability to focus, reduction in motor skills, early exposure and addiction to porn, reduced social skills, inability to read and think linearly (such as reading a book cover-to-cover), online bullying (and other misdeeds), and poor performance in school.

Did you know that 92% of two-year-old children have an online record?

Ben Halpert, Internet safety advocate and founder of the 501c(3) organization Savvy Cyber Kids, has collected some statistics in this arena. Ben's recently aired 12-minute TED Talk, Technology Addiction and What you can do About It is a must-see for parents with infants, toddlers, elementary school children, tweens and teenagers alike.

In the video, Ben provides some shocking statistics and offers simple suggestions for parents to help stave off technology addiction—like establishing a family rule that forbids tech gadgets at the dinner table and in bed.

And parents, that goes for you, too!

*To find out more about sugar addiction, see the 90-minute movie "Fed Up."

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