Young adolescent clients (and their families) often express a range of concerns associated with technology use and its potential negative impacts on quality of life and relationships. From a psychotherapeutic perspective, I am often trying to understand the balance between the personal benefits of tech use and the negative implications (e.g. power struggle and addictive type behaviour). In my private practice, this is becoming a noticeable emergent area of concern and one that requires thoughtful and informed consideration.
Recently I picked up a new book that attempts to illuminate the issue: Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids-and How to Break the Trance. I am impressed with how the author, Nicholas Kardaras, examines the sociological, psychological, cultural and economic factors driving the tech epidemic while relating the impacts on kids. The book is a worthwhile read, effectively highlighting the growing body of research linking ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, increased aggression and in some instances even psychosis with screen time and associated technologies. It even connects neurological brain damage that can occur in the developing brain in ways that mimic cocaine addiction.
Without a doubt, we need to acquire a better understanding and appreciation for the implications of our increasing reliance on technological devices and the impacts especially on the young developing brain. While far from suggesting that society ought to turn back the clock (or should I say iWatch) on the tech boom – we do need to uncover and freely discuss such advances and its consequences for the whole generation of Glow Kids.