Screens are everywhere in our daily lives, helping us work, learn, and have fun. But what happens when we spend too much time staring at screens? Excessive screen time can impact our thinking and learning abilities.
Screen Time and Your Brain
Recent research shows that spending too much time on screens can affect how our brains work. Scientists have looked at many studies and found a clear link between too much screen time and problems with thinking and learning.
Worrying About Young People’s Screen Time
A 2020 report found that many teachers in Australia thought screens were distracting students from learning. And a survey by Beyond Blue found that excessive screen time was the second-biggest challenge for young people, right after mental health issues.
But even with these concerns, many schools in Australia have a policy where students can bring their own devices to school. This means that students spend more time online, starting at younger ages.
A report from 2021 found that tweens spent about five and a half hours on screens daily, while teenagers spent 8 hours and 39 minutes on screens!
What Happens to Your Brain with Too Much Screen Time?
Screens can affect essential brain skills like attention, memory, language, and problem-solving. Some people overthink that screen time can lead to problems like health issues, short attention spans, and even slow development.
Scientists looked at 34 studies and compared people who used screens a lot to those who didn’t. Those who spent too much time on screens had trouble with their attention and controlling impulses.
Why Does This Happen?
One reason could be that screens are designed to grab our attention, and all that grabbing might make it hard for us to focus on other things. It could also make it challenging to stop using screens even when we know we should.
Another possibility is that people who already have trouble with their thinking skills might be more likely to spend a lot of time on screens.
Screens are full of things that can be addictive, and that could make it even harder for them to cut down on screen time.
Even though we don’t know everything about how screens affect our brains, it’s clear that we need to find a balance. Screens are a big part of our lives, and understanding how they affect our thinking is essential for our digital future.