This week my children were asked to gather all of their devices and put them in my room with the understanding that they would get them back at the end of the week.
We are now half way through the week and all is going well, we have had a couple of occasions where the situation has called for them to be used, e.g. recipe and instructions on how to make slime. The week has seen the children in the pool a lot more, they have played cards, they have drawn, they have written letters to family and friends, they have played board games, they have gardened and of course, they have made slime. Apart from partaking in all these lovely activities, they have allowed their brains to reset and most importantly they have broken their connection to the digital world for a short period of time.
According to alzeheimers.net, too much digital technology is resulting in a cognitive breakdown in our young people’s brains. The study states that people who rely too heavily on digital technology may suffer a deterioration in cerebral performance which may lead to short term memory dysfunction. I know that I often pull my eldest child up for “asking Siri” rather than finding the answer for himself. These days people don’t need to retain as much as information as we have in the past, simply because we can “ask Siri” for the answer. This may seem like an easy way out, however it may also lead to deterioration of the right side of the brain which is the side that controls our imaginative and emotional skills.
I am guilty myself of storing all the phone numbers I need in my smart phone and not memorising any of them besides my husbands. We use technology for so many different things, we no longer need to read a map as Siri vocalises the directions, Siri can tell us the best place to eat, how to get there and even what to order; we don’t need to really use our brains for much as long as we can talk to Siri. Our brains are becoming imbalanced which can lead to lateralization of brain function, causing deficits in concentration levels, memory and may also lead to emotional disturbances, for example, depression.
So as we continue through our device free week I am pretty happy with the results so far and I know that when we return to our world of ‘normal’ the children will get back their devices and I will be a lot more stringent with where they are going, what they are doing and the hours they spend glued to them and I look forward to the next random ‘device free week’.
Below are some ideas from alzehemiers.net to help reverse the damage caused by constant use of devises.