Is texting worse than television? Well, according to Dr. Paul Howard-Jones’ new research, it can be. At the Bristol Festival of Education, he argued that texting at night can be more harmful to children than watching television.
At Bristol University, Dr. Howard-Jones focuses his studies on the affect of digital technologies on the brain, especially children’s brains. Based on his current research, looking into a small lit screen can interfere with the secretion of melatonin, a hormone. This regulates the sleep cycle. When disrupted, it can cause greater drowsiness than watching television. He uses another study that shows teenagers who text at night are four times more likely to experience daytime drowsiness than those who don’t.
Another affect that texting at night has is on memory cycles. Using technology at night causes memory disruption. Overall, it will hinder learning in children.
He strongly urges parents to place greater influence in the online and technology worlds. He says that “most parents would discourage their children from having a midnight chat [with] friends on the doorstep, but having access to a mobile phone under the duvet can also be a bad idea.”
Creative Commons Love: bondidwhat and JonJon2K8 on Flickr.com