Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Recommendation will be read online, shared on Facebook, ignored.

In what could be characterized as the most futile report ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids should limit their time in front of electronic devices to no more than 2 hours per day. Like many fantastic recommendations, this one is DOA.

Babies are using iPads before they can form complete sentences.

Babies are using iPads before they can form complete sentences.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: American association of pediatricians, kids, online, social media, Facebook, time, TV


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pediatricians have warned for decades that children should not watch so much TV, or spend all of their time in front of the computer. Instead, children should play outside, do a few chores, be involved in extracurricular activities and engage directly with their families.

While this is an excellent idea, it is also an exercise in futility. Kids lead wired lives, often following in their parent's footsteps. As the parents browse Facebook and Pinterest at the dinner table (yes, it happens) kids learn such behavior is okay.

Years ago, kids might fill suburban yards and urban playgrounds with their shouts and activities, playing sports, or shooting one another with toy weapons. Today, the once common activity of kids playing outside has become more of an anachronism as they trade real flesh-and-blood experiences for superficial, virtual interactions in the online realm.

Many are joined by their parents who may sometimes play the very same games.

It's easy to criticize this behavior, however it should be understood that video games, social networking sites, and other popular media are designed to be addictive with designers often employing psychologists to help develop their products.

How often have you misplaced your iPhone and suffered a mini-heart attack? Laugh if you will--or cry, but many Americans can relate to this reaction. Not because the device could be lost, but rather people feel lost without their devices.

Although electronics have legitimate uses for both adults and children, the line between legitimate use and abuse is quite thin. Generally speaking, many people, especially kids, choose to interact electronically when they might be better served doing some other activity. Yet, kids get addicted, just like their parents.

Last week, a 17-year-old girl in India hanged herself after her parents denied her permission to log onto her Facebook account. Her suicide note explained her devastation to investigators and her parents. Yes, this actually happened.

As for adults, the media is no less inhibiting. Texting-while-driving is a serious offense, not to mention dangerous, but happens with great regularity. Employees burn precious time at the workplace interacting with their phones as opposed to working. Our couch-potato, sedentary lifestyle is possibly one of the leading contributing factors to heart disease and obesity in our country.

How many dinners now take place before a switched-on television?

At the same time we acknowledge the folly of gadget addiction, we are also immersed in a world that now assumes every adult has a smartphone and every adult is online. Commercial advertisements on television often refer people to social media to continue their marketing integration with the viewer.

Schools have been convinced by firms such as Apple and Google that kids learn best with technology integrated into the curriculum. Many major school districts and private schools already issue students iPads for classroom use.

Indeed, internet-wired technology is becoming quite standard and ubiquitous. So much so that children, even less than a year old, are using tablets and playing on smartphones, swiping their fingers across screens to play games and draw.

While this is excellent preparation for an online world, it is also cannibalizing time for genuine human interaction. It's also leading people to sedentary lives starting from infancy.

Perhaps the most ironic perspective is found in the pages of Don Quixote, published in 1605, written by Miguel Cervantes. "Our gentleman became so immersed in his reading that he spent whole nights from sundown to sunup and his days from dawn to dusk in poring over his books, until, finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind" (I, 1, pp. 26-27).

Perhaps these devices are the modern equivalent of the books of Cervantes's day-so we pray. If so, then any plan to resist them will have as much success as campaigns to control books.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Health

OLD HEARTS: Many Americans have hearts older than their chronological age Watch

Image of Many Americans have an old, old heart . and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it's a biological fact for many.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many Americans have an old, old heart... and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it is a biological fact for many. A new study says that three out of four Americans' hearts are older than their chronological age. This sobering medical fact means ... continue reading


Deadly amoeba kills 14-year-old Olympic hopeful Watch

Image of Michael Riley Jr., three-time Junior Olympic qualifier posing with his medals.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three-time Junior Olympics qualifier Michael Riley passed away last Sunday after a short battle with a rare brain infection. His family says they will pursue a campaign for a better understanding of the disease to honor the short, but well-lived, life of the teen. ... continue reading


Federal guidelines for school lunches: Does it really make a difference? Watch

Image of More food was wasted after federal guidelines requiring healthier options was enacted.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even if school trays are loaded up with fruits and vegetables during lunchtime, kids are not actually eating them. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthier lunches have been required in schools in accordance to federal guidelines, but children remain ... continue reading


Orthorexia: The third major eating disorder Watch

Image of Over-restricting yourself can lead to malnutrition.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obsessions with healthy eating could yield dangerous results, due to the lack of essential minerals and vitamins. An eating disorder called orthorexia may be silently leading avid nutrition fans toward malnutrition and even death. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Bloodstream swimming 'fish' delivers drugs and detects toxins in human body Watch

Image of Microfish glow red in the presence of toxins.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Microfish, 3D-printed microbots have been developed at the University of California San Diego. The "smart" microbots were created to swim through bloodstreams to deliver drugs to specified places in the body. They can also sense and remove toxins. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Does self-control end up hurting you? New research pinpoints its negative affects Watch

Image of The brain activates different sections depending on stimulus.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a test involving 120 images of faces, a new study claims self-discipline is negatively affecting our ability to recall information. Researchers hope the new findings will help develop treatments for certain conditions like ADHD and addiction. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


LIVING SICK: Global life expectancy increases faster than healthy life expectancy Watch

Image of Misao Okawa, the oldest woman in the world at 117-years-old.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study shows that men and women across the world are living an average of six years longer than they did 25 years ago. Even in some of the world's least developed countries, life expectancy is rising. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthy life ... continue reading


Are people who worry more creative? New study links neuroticism, daydreaming and creativity Watch

Image of [Photo by: Shutterstock]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Neurotic people tend to be more anxious and sensitive toward matters that don't usually concern people. Psychologist and self-proclaimed neurotic, Adam Perkins believes there is a link between neuroticism, creativity and daydreaming. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


87-year-old woman to have unusual 'unicorn horn' removed from head Watch

Image of Liang Xiuzhen, 87, and her

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What began as an itchy mole on the head of an 87-year-old villager in China has sprouted into a horn. The "horn" grew 13-cm long, earning her the nickname "unicorn woman" from local residents. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Liang Xiuzhen, an 87-year-old ... continue reading


12,000 children may be exposed to HIV and Hepatitis from unsterile surgical equipment at hospital Watch

Image of The Seattle Children's Hospital is under controversy once again.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Seattle's Bellevue clinic Children's Hospital contacts the parents of 12,000 children who might have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to un-sterile surgical equipment. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Parents of roughly 12,000 children who were ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter