Colorado dad and Denver-area anesthesiologist Tim Farnum has always understood the intrigue of modern technology. Smartphones, tablets and unfettered Internet access connect us to faraway corners of the world and make life — and movie watching — all the more convenient.
But the father of five is not convinced these devices are beneficial for children, a conclusion he came to after his two youngest sons, ages 11 and 13, got smartphones last year.
“There were some real problems,” Farnum, 49, told The Washington Post. “If you tell them to watch the screen time, all of a sudden the fangs come out.”
As he tells it, his once energetic and outgoing boys became moody, quiet and reclusive. They never left their bedrooms, and when he tried to take away the phones, one of Farnum’s sons launched into a temper tantrum that the dad described as equivalent to the withdrawals of a crack addict.
So Farnum started researching the side effects of screen time on kids and found statistics that astonished him. Too much technology too soon can impair brain development, hinder social skills and trigger an unhealthy reliance on the neurotransmitter dopamine, a high similar to what drug and alcohol addicts feel.
Farnum read it all, then said he thought to himself: “Someone has got to do something.”
Read more at The Washington Post.