Great distraction, great destruction, by Ignacio Orovio | Entertainment | The USA Print

The change of era, by Josep Maria Ruiz Simon

The diagnosis is depressing, devastating: technology is making the world worse, and it has been around long enough for the scientific literature to support that barbaric claim. It is one of the conclusions of the fabulous report broadcast last Sunday on TV3, the work of Genís Cormand and Xavier Bonet. A document as disturbing as it is worrying, full of testimonies that expose its relationship with technology. Its titled The great distraction and analyzes from different angles how the massive consumption of technology, that is, networks, screens and webs, is directly and brutally deteriorating our brains, and especially those of our children.

It is not a problem of prepositions: warning about technology does not directly mean being against it. The documentary talks with institutes that have banned mobile phones, students who hide them in order to concentrate, journalists who describe how the algorithms that devour our attention are designed (by the devil)… The testimony of neurologists and psychiatrists is devastating. With data in hand, they expose the tsunami that screens bring to children’s brains: the smaller, the more damage. Of course it is comfortable to have them ecstatic in front of a screen, but the damage is or may be irreversible.

Neurologists alert: no screens until the age of 3, and a maximum of 30 minutes between the ages of 4 and 6

The German neurologist Manfred Spitzer, author among other works of digital dementia , exposes something of devastating simplicity. If a child moves his hand and grabs an object, things happen in his brain: every object he picks up, hates, examines, smells, licks, turns, touches, brushes, sniffs, tears, scrutinizes, sucks, caresses, throws, gnaws, destroys, rejects, seeks, adores, breaks, loses, finds, etc., etc., etc. generates micro-impulses of new information in his brain that shape his knowledge of the world and the people around him. Nothing or very little of this happens if he is absorbed in the explosion of lights in a mobile game.

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Hence, the advice of the experts is conclusive, alarming and embarrassing (what parent complies or has the strength to enforce it to prevail over the unbeatable “everyone does it”?): no child under 3 should ever play with a screen ; Less than 30 minutes a day from 4 to 6 years old, and a maximum of one hour, and under adult content supervision, those between 7 and 12. Any mirror in the room?

Among the avalanche of alerts from the work of Cormand and Bonet, a phrase from Michel Desmurget, a neuroscientist at the Lyon Institute of Cognitive Sciences: “The time that adolescents spend on screens is colossal. Every time we say we’ve reached the top of Everest and it can’t go any higher, it just keeps going.” And a piece of information: it is estimated that currently, when a student finishes high school, they have spent in front of a screen as many hours as the equivalent of 30 school years.

Outside of school, naturally.