Slaves to the screen

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In a world where tweets and Facebook are just at our fingertips, it can be easy to get so caught up in our text messages and emails that sometimes the person sitting across from us seems to not even exist.

In today’s society, I think human interaction is something we take for granted. We’ve all met that person who plays on their phone all day, who would rather look at their phone than engage in conversation. You don’t want your child to be that person — no one does — but iPhones and iPads are a distraction to everyday life, and they hinder the ability to develop vital social and communication skills. In an article written by members of The Center of Psychology and Counseling of Pennsylvania, it says, “The development of competent social skills is a most vital process for the facilitation of personal happiness and professional success. The cultivation of healthy and meaningful interpersonal relationships is a lifelong process that begins at birth as the infant bonds with his parents.” From birth to two years old is a child’s prime for developing necessary social skills. If you hand your child an iPad during this time, it may negatively affect their cognitive growth.

In another article, Cris Rowan, a pediatric occupational therapist, biologist and author, said, “Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate e.g. tantrums.” I think we can all agree that brain development is important, so we should make efforts to support it in our children instead of hinder it.

Jessica Lockhart
Hope Mills, North Carolina

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