Travel back in time with me to Saturday, September 7th at the EMF conference in Santa Cruz, California. That afternoon following lunch, an amazing woman spoke – standing ovation amazing.
Her name is Victoria Dunkley, MD and the title of her presentation was Screen Time and Children: A Plan for Screen Fasting. If you scroll down on this page, you will find a 5-minute video tracking a family who addresses this issue with their children. It is eye opening.
I loved her myth-busting session. Here is what she had to say:
“Myth: It all depends on what they’re doing…content matters.
Truth: Total screen time is more important that type or content. It’s the medium, not the message.
Myth: Computer time is better than TV.
Truth: Interactive screen time is more dysregulating and addictive than passive.
Myth: Everything in moderation.
Truth: Not universal – some kids really can’t handle ANY screen time.
Myth: Computer skills need to be taught early to survive in today’s world.
Truth: Computer skills are overemphasized in school and are relatively easy to learn at any age.
Myth: Educational technology is revolutionizing the way kids learn and saves schools money.
Truth: Using tech to teach is at best neutral and may be harmful. Devices in classroom impair performance. Schools with the most computer use have the lowest scores. Kids with less than 30 minutes of screen time have the highest GPAs.
Myth: New software can help kids learn to read.
Truth: E-reading hinders literacy and comprehension.
Myth: Devices help students be more efficient.
Truth: Handwriting beats laptop note taking for recall, integration, and test scores; laptops distract others.
The nature of technology is at odds with basic developmental needs. Any device with an electronic screen acts like a stimulant, is a central nervous system irritant, and emits electromagnetic radiation.”
Then, she explains how electronic stress creates symptoms in children which is referred to as Electronic Screen Syndrome:
- “Overstimulation and stress reactions.
- Blood flow moves from the frontal lobe to primitive areas, desynchronizes the internal clock, alters brain chemistry and hormones
- As a result, there is poor frontal lobe functioning which means that emotional regulation, focus, decision-making, impulse control, empathy, and creativity suffer. This can mimic and/or exacerbate psychiatric disorders.
- Kids will be irritable, tearful, depressed and rageful.
- Kids will have poor focus, be forgetful, disorganized and some will hallucinate.
- Kids will be oppositional, impulsive, and express low empathy.”
Wow, right? I think her book Reset Your Child’s Brain could be useful to a lot families, teachers, and school administrators, yes?
I mean, this is the thing that makes this EMF conversation so damn hard. It is layers of issues. Kids (and adults) are addicted to the screens, social media, etc AND the EMFs are biologically impacting the body. Then, you have to deal with the spiral of shame that comes from feeling like a bad parent. It’s a triple fucking whammy, and very few people are actually, in reality, aware of it or dealing with it.
Look, when I was diagnosed with asthma at age 3, my dad stopped smoking cigars. Everyone was willing to recognize that environmental smoke isn’t good for asthma, and my dad changed. It was win-win: he saved me from further injury and stopped hurting his body. So it goes with cell phones and iPads. EMFs are like invisible second-hand smoke and the effects of screens on the brain is insult to injury. Our children are also observing our relationship to our devices: it starts with us – the parents!
I had no idea how my phone and even WiFi were interrupting my relationships until I eliminated them. I was physically here in my house, but I was mentally somewhere else. I was distracted. I now see that even moving a laptop computer around the house is a problem. Now I have to intentionally go down to my office to do something on my computer. It’s so much less stressful.
I move towards the technology as opposed to it coming at me! I decide what and when I see something on a screen, not the other way around. And when I’m with my loved ones, I’m with them.
In other words, I don’t miss my iPhone…and neither does my family.
It is clear that at some point with all of this wireless technology and screens, we crossed a line and now our kids, families and relationships are suffering. Thing is, we can change, and that’s where my hope resides. One by one, little by little…we can change.
Explore your relationship to screens in peace, my friends.
PS – Last week a number of you pointed out a mistake I made, Glenn and I will be in Austin THIS coming weekend Saturday, October 19th (not November) to teach our seminar 8 Ways Patients (and you) Sabotage Their Health and What to do About It. Maybe we will see you there?
In the meantime, please know that I’m here to support your vitality. In addition to the free education I provide in this newsletter, I can give you personalized attention in the form of one-on-one phone consultations. I charge $105 per hour and together, we will customize a plan for you to reclaim your health. It’s fun…and excruciating work that’s totally worth it. The season of sugar is upon us, making it the perfect time to take a deep dive into your life and body and get the self-care you deserve. Don’t wait until January when the season has passed, empower yourself NOW while you’re in the thick of it. You can schedule an appointment here.
Many thanks to each of you for reading. It’s an honor! “See” ya next week.