Screen dependency talks
Eastbourne College was delighted to recently welcome world-renowned expert Dr Aric Sigman to address to all pupils, parents and staff on 'Managing Screen Time and Screen Dependency'.
His excellent talk was based on his medical paper Time for a View on Screen Time' published in the BMA/BMJ’s Archives of Disease in Childhood, his paper on screen dependency 'Virtually Addicted' published in the Royal College of General Practitioners’ British Journal of General Practice and his book 'Remotely Controlled'.
The presentations focused on the following issues:
- How the over-use of electronic media may affect school performance, academic achievement, brain development, physical and mental health, social skills and relationships.
- How much and what type of electronic media children should be using before and after school hours.
- What ‘multi-tasking’ does to children’s minds and brains.
- What parents and schools can do to prevent problems and improve matters.
He reported that by the time young people reach middle adolescence, they spend more time using their screen technology devices than they do sleeping. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, the Internet, TV or computer games, screen time has become a medical issue. The disproportionate amount of discretionary screen time consumed by children is increasingly linked with risks to their well-being. Screen ‘addiction’ is a term increasingly being used by doctors to describe the growing number of children engaging in screen activities in a dependent manner.
Dr Sigman lectures in child health education and publishes papers on child health and development subjects including excessive discretionary screen time and screen dependency, alcohol, and body image. He was a keynote speaker on screen dependency at the International Congress of Child Neurology 2016. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Dr Sigman has twice been invited to address the European Parliament Working Group on the Quality of Childhood in the European Union, once on the health implications of electronic media and screen dependency, and again on preventing alcohol use disorders among children and adolescents.