By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
We had just been outside for a good portion of the evening watching our son’s baseball game. There is something about sitting there, feeling the cold wind blow, smelling the fresh grass and enjoying the company of the other fans. Of course, the sound of the crack of the bat on the ball when it’s your team up to bat adds a great sound. Now if this were a professional game I suppose we could have sat at home and watched it on our television in climate-controlled comfort through a high definition screen, but since it was only high school ball, we didn’t have that luxury.
Then in the car on the way home, Stephanie read an article to me. As I listened I found myself extremely thankful to be serving in a Christian camp and discipleship ministry where we regularly help children get away from screens and engage with people. Here are a couple highlights (or should I say lowlights) from the article.
Screen exposure starts young. And children who spent more than two hours a day looking at a screen got lower scores on thinking and language tests, according to early results of a landmark study on brain development of more than 11,000 children that the National Institutes of Health is supporting.
Most disturbingly, the study is finding that the brains of children who spend a lot of time on screens are different. For some kids, there is premature thinning of their cerebral cortex. In adults, one study found an association between screen time and depression.
In Silicon Valley, time on screens is increasingly seen as unhealthy. Here, the popular elementary school is the local Waldorf School, which promises a back-to-nature, nearly screen-free education.
Here is the entire article. I’d recommend reading it. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/sunday-review/human-contact-luxury-screens.html