Understandably most young people are on screens a ton right now. Thank goodness there are all sorts of great things made possible via screen time.
But, what are the potential costs of loads of certain screen time activities on their brain health and mood? Are there ways to implement changes to their tech time that might help them feel better — even while keeping the same total amount of screen time?
Clifford Sussman, MD, is a psychiatrist for children and adolescents in Washington, DC, and he is well known for his work in treating those with problematic internet and video game use. He and I have presented together at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Conference and have shared ideas over the years.
Sussman and I were talking last week and I realized now would be a good time to share with you the brain model and action steps that he often teaches his clients. No matter if you put his suggestions into practice, this is a great science topic to discuss with youth in your life.
Sussman talks about “digital binging” — many hours on end, without any real breaks doing things such as video games, social media, youtube, shows, etc. This leads to what he calls the “residual effect” on the brain with prolonged use of such activities.
The residual effect of the brain is caused by changes in the physiology of the brain.
Keep reading about the reward center where dopamine is released and what you should know about instant gratification activities.