The other day Scott forwarded me an article about a group of teenagers in London who intentionally unplugged from the world of mobile phones and apps for a week. The results were incredibly telling.
Last week I caught this fascinating piece on NPR's Here and Now with Professor Larry Steinberg of Temple University. Steinberg's latest book is titled “Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence”, and it highlights all sorts of new findings coming out of research regarding adolescent brain development. It is also closely aligned with what I wrote about in a blog last month regarding the need for pre-teens to engage in healthy risk taking.
Below are two of my favorite excerpts from Steinberg's interview:
I spend a whole lot of time in my car, driving to the houses and apartments of the new campers interested in joining the Kenwood & Evergreen community. And with so many hours spent by myself I have this incredible opportunity to listen to some very powerful recordings. Lately, in between the weekly broadcasts of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” and whatever music has recently captured my fancy, I’ve also been enjoying samples from the vast collection of TED talks.
We spotted two interesting articles online this week, one in OutsideOnline.com and PSmag.com, both on the importance of unplugging from our wonderful world of electronics. It certainly has been conventional wisdom for quite some time that our children need to disconnect more regularly from their TV screens. New research conducted in the United States and Japan seems to suggest that unplugging ourselves from our gadgets can have a profound impact on our brain’s ability to process information, think creatively, manage stress levels, form appropriate social attachments, and more effectively problem solve. I can recall being five or six years old and hearing my mother regularly ask “why don’t you stop watching cartoons and go outside?” This rhetorical question was typically followed by her belief that so much TV watching would “rot my brain”. It now appears that there may have been solid scientific reasoning behind what she was saying.