With the overuse of computer devices a new category has been applied to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM) that Mental Health professionals use to diagnosis a mental health condition. That category is called," Internet Addiction Disorder" or simply IAD.
In my "Help with" section of this website I have outlined the key concerns that I believe represent a cause for concern for any parent whose child spends too much time using their digital device. With any addiction (and that is how this condition is being identified) there is always a negative impact either on the individuals psychological, neurological, behavioural well being. But what exactly are the effects on developing minds that use their devices too much?
A researcher by the name of Nicholas Kardaras, PhD who compiled his research in a book entitled, "Glow Kids" comes to some sobering conclusions.
Dr. Kardaras suggests that the overuse of digital devices among the young is creating more anxious, inattentive and angry youth than ever before. He points to the rising numbers of children worldwide being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) which can not be explained by arguements of better means of assessing the condition. In terms of the rise of ADHD, Dr. Kardaras argues that the neurological stimulation that the devices provide is wiring sensitive minds to be compelled to seek out more and more stimulating events (this is why the association of a drug addiction is being widely used by researchers) and that ordinary classrooms lack this level of stimulation and as a result children with overuse of their digital devices are unable to learn as they seek more and greater mental stimulation.
To add to the problem, as Dr. Kardaras sees it, there is no research that supports the theory that educational programs designed around digital devices is superior to the experience of being taught by a teacher. The arguement is naively provided that internet and digital learning is superior to classroom instruction and on the face of it this assumption sounds solid. However, there is just no research bearing out the educational advances that students have by interacting with the internet. In fact the research suggests that when given the option of being taught utilising digital devices or with a human teacher that the students prefer the experience of a human teacher. So this then begs the question. Why is there such an emphasis on the provision of digital devices in the classroom? Dr. Kardaras points to the profit obtained by the designers of tech. There is literally hundreds of millions of dollars on the line as tech companies enter the education market.
So like everything it comes down to dollars. Using the analogy of drug addiction we are faced with the same problem. The robust research provided by Dr. Kardaras indicates that digital devices are bad for growing minds, in much the same way that drug use is bad for any mind.
If you are a parent, interested in learning more about the effects of digital devices on the young children then reading Dr. Kardaras' book, "Glow Kids" is a must read.
If you are interested in having your child assessed for this concern, please click on the Book Now button at the top right of this page.