Modern electronic technology as we know it — the Internet, iPads, iPhones, eReaders, and everything else — is still a relative newcomer to the scene in terms of history. We have only recently been made aware of its darker side. I won’t go into the details of the research, but it indicates that this technology is effecting us by rewiring our brains and dumbing us down.
While this would be a concern for anyone, it is particularly worrisome when one considers the number of children — whose developing brains are more at risk — who use mobile devices on a near constant basis. The British government has always undertaken a more aggressive stance when it comes to the health of their citizens than the U.S. and recently funded a major investigation into the effects of mobile phones and other wireless devices on children.
The study will track the thinking, skills, memory, and attention of some 12,000 eleven and twelve year-olds in the London area and will begin this fall. The World Health Organization has gone on record stressing the importance of research in this area.
I will anticipate the results of the study, though it’s doubtful that they will have any more effect on behavior than the results of similar studies focusing on adults.