Overexposure to technology ‘makes children miserable’

Children become increasingly unhappy the longer they spend playing computer games and accessing the internet, according to new research from the Office of National Statistics. This is from the Telegraph…

Young people exposed to modern technology for more than four hours a day are less likely to display high levels of “wellbeing” than those limiting access to less than 60 minutes, it emerged.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics found that the use of video games and social networking had a number of advantages, including enhancing existing friendships and allowing shy children to communicate.

But it warned of negative effects for young people exposed for technology for too long during the normal school day.

The conclusions come just days after a leading academic warned that a generation of children risks growing up with obsessive personalities, poor self-control, short attention spans and little empathy because of an addiction to social networking websites such as Twitter.

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, said a decline in physical human contact meant children struggled to formulate basic social skills and emotional reactions.

Young people’s brains were failing to develop properly after being overexposed to the cyber world at an early age, she claimed.

According to figures quoted by the ONS, almost 85 per cent of children born in 2000/01 have access to a computer and the internet at home. Some 12 per cent have their own computer and the same proportion had a personal mobile phone.

Separate data showed that six per cent of children aged 10-to-15 used online chatrooms or played games consoles for more than four hours on an average school day.

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