[FoRK] Children and digital/computer medium

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Fri Dec 6 10:30:58 PST 2013

On 6 December 2013 11:29, SK <sk.list at gmail.com> wrote:
> Gregory's last para details some of my concerns. I see in my 3 yr old that
> after a small session with iPad she is "hyper"/cranky etc.


I think that the hypnotic trance of what McLuhan called hot media -
reading, computer games, etc - when very fun, can trigger the release
of serotonin, and are similar in effect to taking mood enhancing drugs

Like a comedown from an MDMA high in an adult, when 3 years olds come
off a super fun activity, their neurotransmitters have run out and
they need rest time to replenish them.

This is as true of riding rollercoasters all day in a theme park as it
is of an iPad, but you gotta be 100cm tall to do those rides. You only
gotta be 40cm tall to play Sonic on the iPad :)

The solution to this seems to me to be imposing limits using something
like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication - I'm not
arguing against limits, I'm curious _why_ you think there should be
limits, since that effects _how much_ the limits should be :-)

> Also, not time
> limiting almost always leads to an over-done (my opinion).

Right - 'over dose', a drug analogy, exactly.

> My daughter has
> almost always willingly switched off the TV or iPad after an hour or so
> once or twice I allowed her to watch that much, but it easily adds up.

I don't see the harm as long as a kid learns to self regulate their crankiness.

On 6 December 2013 11:24, Gregory Alan Bolcer <greg at bolcer.org> wrote:
> There is also a theory that I subscribe to that games are actually useful
> for developing mental problem solving skills.  When I was a kid though, we
> had plenty of offline activities and not so much verticalized and behavior
> optimized modifiers.

I agree, I learned a TONNE from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization_%28video_game%29 and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Settlers and other turn based
strategy games. The real time mode of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_&_Conquer arrived after I stopped
playing games (because I found usenet to be a real life game that was
much more fun by that point :) and I'm not sure what the difference is
between turn versus real time might be, didactically.

> A good rule of thumb is the presence of any physical changes.  Sore eyes,
> sore heads, sore fingers/thumbs, sore butts, sore attitudes--the last is the
> most important.

Right - thus where
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_Communication comes in :)


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