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Perverse Effect of "Technology" on Children

September 4, 2011

childtech.jpegThe past decade has seen a profound increase in use of entertainment technology by children, some as young as age one. Developmental delay, obesity, attention deficit, and learning disabilities are now the norm.

by Chris Rowan

Zone'in Fact Sheet

(abridged, edited by

A research review regarding the impact of technology [video games, ipods, smart phones] on child development, behavior, and academic performance.

+Infants watch 2.5 hours per day of TV and 25% have TV's in their bedrooms.
    +Children use 7.5 hours per day of entertainment technology, and 75% have a device (
TV, video games, internet, movies, cell phones and iPods) in their bedroom.
    +30% of children will enter kindergarten developmentally delayed
    +14.3% of children, have been diagnosed with a mental illness
    +25% of children are obese
    +30% of children require special education assistance

Impact Statement

Attachment to technology is "detaching" children from humanity, with consequent increased childhood psychological and behavior disorders, accompanied by prescription of dangerous psychotropic medication.

Media violence is now been categorized as a public health risk due to causal links to child aggression. Brain development research shows that technology overuse by children results in "pruning" tracks to the frontal cortex, adversely affecting executive functioning and impulse control.

Early studies now indicate electromagnetic radiation emitted from technology is harmful to adult physical and mental health, with no studies to date on children. Schools continue to escalate use of "educational" technologies without ANY research evidence to show efficacy or safety.

It is now time to manage balance between activity and technology, a concept termed Balanced Technology Management,

Technology Use Overview

Two thirds of children report their parents do not restrict their access to technology, and 75% of these children have TV's in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation Report 2010).

"Baby TV" now occupies 2.5 hours per day for the 0-2 year old population, and television occupies 4.5 hours per day for 3-5 year olds, and 6.5 hours per day for elementary aged children and is causally linked to developmental delays (Christakis D 2007). This situation has prompted France to ban its broadcasters from airing TV shows aimed at children under three years of age (CBC News, 2008), and Disney to offer refunds for their "Baby Einstein" DVD's (NY Times, 2009).
80% of studies showed a link between the following negative health outcomes and media use: obesity, smoking, sexual behavior, drug use, alcohol use, low academic achievement and ADHD (Nunez-Smith M 2004, Zimmerman F 2007, Hancox R 2005, Murray J 2006).

Child-iPhone-300x168.jpgTechnology Addiction Prevalence

Young adults experience distress when they try to unplug from technology for even one day. Many students also reported mental and physical symptoms of distress and "employed the rhetoric of addiction, dependency and depression," when reporting their experiences of trying to go unplugged for a full day (CBC News 2011).
A Harris Interactive Poll in April 2007 found that 8.5% of youth gamers could be classified as "pathological" or "clinically addicted" to playing video games.  A British survey of gamers indicated 12% reported being "addicted".

 2.4 % of South Korea from ages 9 - 39 have video game addiction according to a government funded survey. Another 10.2% were found to be borderline cases at risk of addiction.  Addiction was defined as an obsession with playing electronic games to the point of sleep deprivation, disruption of daily life and a loosening grip on reality, depression and with drawl when not playing.


Developmental Delay

A 2006 Canadian study reported one-in-six children have a developmental disability with only 55-65% of developmental disabilities are detected prior to school age entry (Hamilton S 2006).

Data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey reported 17% of U.S. children had a developmental disability with 6% of child population having language impairment, 8% a learning disability, 7% ADHD and 0.5% Autism with 13.2% accessing special education assistance. (Boyle C 1994).

Movement Deprivation

Developing children require 3-4 hours per day of active rough and tumble play to achieve adequate stimulation to the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile sensory systems (National Association for Sport and Physical Education 2002). 
Scottish study reports toddlers aged 3 years engaged in only 20 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which correlated with a decline in total energy expenditure and sedentary behavior.  Study identifies TV, video games, strollers as "culprits" (Reilly J 2004).

Human Detachment and Psychological Disorders

Children who watch more than the expert recommended 1-2 hours per day of technology, have a 60% increase in psychological disorders (Bristol University, 2010).

 Nationwide survey reports problematic use of video games was associated with lower scores on life satisfaction and with elevated levels of anxiety and depression (Mentzoni R 2011).

Parents who stay in touch with their university aged children using social networking (texts, email, Facebook), have children who are more anxious, lonely and who indicate loneliness, anxious attachment, as well as conflict within the parental relationship, than children who's parents stay in touch by phone (Gentzler, 2010).

and there is much MORE

CRIS ROWAN is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, author, speaker and champion of easing the job of learning for all children. Her website is

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "Perverse Effect of "Technology" on Children"

Concerned Parent said (September 5, 2011):

Three years ago my son,15, at the time, told me he had no school on a friday. When I called his school, I was told the opposite. I realized he stayed home to play online. So, I told him he may not play for a week and took his toy away from him. The next day, he packed his bag and called my ex to pick him up. He said he was not coming back again. I told my ex the story to no avail. She was after more child support money.

I took mom and my son to court, asking the judge to hold my ex in contempt for not following a prior court order, giving me custody of my son and encouraging my son to miss school.

The "good"judge did not care about my son's behavior, which was alarming, and did nothing. The judge said he had an 18 year old daughter that he could not handle! Further, later he gave the custody to my ex.

Shame on the judge and it is a shame to have judges like him not to allow a parent to discipline his child.

Wave said (September 5, 2011):

I see you put the word technology in quotation marks (to imply its socially degrading/controlling application in contemporary society). I would suggest we leave them there, permanently. Modern technology is not and never was 'just a tool'. It is a system, a social structure, a model of conduct, an environment. Tools are 'wielded' and directed by individuals; technologies are 'operated' and adapted to. This is something fundamentally new in the human experience and why the word 'technology' doesn't exist before the mid-nineteenth century. Technology is a new concept for a new phenomenon.

"We need to invest in better technology; "technology is neither good nor bad per se"; "the problem's not technology, but the people using it".

Don't be deceived! The concept of technology is not innocent. It doesn't mean the plurality or 'aggregate' of artifacts. Literally and theoretically it infers an autonomous system of artifacts or 'mega-machine' . . . something remarkably like the modern control grid of the NWO. Talk about hidden in plain sight.

Dan said (August 22, 2011):

One thing that really frosts my shorts is texting. It bastardizes the English language, and creates fictitious acronyms.

My daughter is doing this, and possibly other less exerting activities. I always exercised with her, and continue to this day to encourage her to be active. Diabetes is progressively becoming a problem in children, due to their inactivity, and poor diet. And from a social paradigm, Online networks should never replace direct human interaction. The results will likely be bad if children lose their ability to effectively interact with their fellow humans.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at