ADD and Digital Comms
A leading British psychologist warned a couple of years ago that the number children exhibiting ADD-like symptoms is growing. This is true even among children who have not been diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder.
A major part of the reason for this, he said, is that children are being exposed for too long and at too early an age to digital screens.
The time they spend scanning screens robs them of valuable opportunities to “read” human faces.
The ability to identify facial signals and to respond in kind is an important part of human development. Children who lack this facility become stunted in their psychological and emotional growth and often display problems with social adjustment as they mature.
There is no question that digital gadgets have been a boon in so many areas of our lives. Their facility to promote mass communication has encouraged mass collaboration, on a whole range of previously intractable problems.
However, in all things technological, the impact on human cognition and health must be of prime importance.
Mental health awareness week provides an important opportunity for each of us to re-evaluate our reliance on gadgetry and screens, especially where relationships are concerned.
Machines are wonderful servants to our human experience, but they make very poor masters.