We’ve been talking about our new book so much lately, we wanted to take a minute to talk about another one we’d recommend: 24/6 The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week by Tiffany Shlain.
“I clearly remember the night we took the iPhone plunge in 2007. I tried to convey to Ken why I was worried that smartphones might be a detriments to our relationship. But of course we opened our white Pandora’s boxes from Apple… We could bring our screens with us everywhere, and we did… And like everyone else, we got addicted. Researchers have compared the sense of technological dependency–the feeling that we must be accessible and responsive at any time– to that of drugs and alcohol. It’s all because of the hormone dopamine which is related to mood, attention, and desire. When you find something that feels good, dopamine makes you want more of it. I recently heard the term ‘DIGITAL OBESITY’. Yes, I get it. Too much of anything can be detrimental to your health and well-being…” -Tiffany Shlain
Electronics, Light and the Science of Sleep
There is robust scientific data documenting the role of light in promoting wakefulness. Photoreceptors in the retina sense light and dark, signaling our brain about the status of the outside world and aligning our circadian rhythms (centered in a small region of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus) to the external day-night cycle. This signaling of light and dark helps us to be alert in the morning and be able to fall asleep at the appropriate time at night. The power of light as an alerting agent is easily conceptualized when we think of the sun, but may be more difficult to appreciate when considering the light emitted from a tablet or smartphone.
Nonetheless, careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. As adults we are subject to these influences and our children are particularly susceptible.
Children, Electronics and Sleep
The increasing prevalence of electronics in children’s bedrooms creates a culture of evening engagement and light exposure that negatively impacts sleep time, sleep quality and daytime alertness. Literature shows that:
- Children using electronic media as a sleep aid to relax at night have been shown to have later weekday bedtimes, experience fewer hours of sleep per week and report more daytime sleepiness.
- Adolescents with a bedroom television have later bedtimes, more difficulty initiating sleep and shorter total sleep times.
- Texting and emailing after lights outs, even once per week, dramatically increases self-reported daytime sleepiness among teens.
- Not all electronic usage is recreational as the burden of homework is great for many of our children and their work is often completed on the computer, a significant light source late in the evening.
- Increased academic demands, busy social and extracurricular schedules and the lure of entertainment conspire to keep our children electronically engaged at night.
Many children are not fulfilling basic sleep requirements and adequate sleep is essential for growth, learning, mood, creativity and weight control. Understanding the influence of light and evening engagement on sleep is the first step in helping parents address the dilemma of electronics in the bedroom.
In 2008, Tiffany Shlain’s father, Leonard, was diagnosed with brain cancer, and she began to change her use of technology when the two of them were together. “Some days he would have only one good hour,” she later wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “and I didn’t want to be distracted when I was with him, so I’d turn off my cellphone.”
Find out the rest of the story here, it’s really incredible.
We’re typically here to talk about the health ramifications of too much electronic exposure, but what about the effects on mental health?
Here’s some food for thought today. Check out the rest of the photo series here
There will be no facet of our lives that will remain untouched by 5G.
Here are just a few of things 5G has in store for us:
- Irreplaceable physical health
- Precious mental, emotional well-being
- Sacred privacy lost
- Priceless environment in jeopardy
All impacted by this new “promising” technology.
As it turned out, industry knew that asbestos was causing lung disease, but conspired to cover it up and allow hundreds of thousands to suffer. 
Same with the tobacco companies.
Big Tobacco tricked hundreds of millions of people into thinking that smoking was not only not harmful, but possibly good for your health. And they got away with it for decades. [28,29]
The time-line of lies regarding “safe” things that were really dangerous provide detailed evidence of how industry and government agencies conspired to suppress the truth and promote money-making products. 
Don’t think Big Wireless wouldn’t, couldn’t, or isn’t already putting profits before people. Check out the rest of the story here:
Is 5G Dangerous? What The Science Says
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been studying the effect of screen time for children. The preliminary results are in and they’re not good.
The NIH report shows that nine- and ten-year-old children who spend more than two hours in front of a screen each day score lower on thinking and language tests. This is troubling since the average “tweenager” spends up to six hours a day on their tablet or phone.
In addition, scientists have found that children with daily screen usage of more than seven hours show premature thinning of the brain cortex. This is the outermost layer that processes information from the physical world. While it’s too soon to know with certainty that screen time usage caused the changes to the children’s brains, scientists will be monitoring this relationship carefully.
Are your children addicted to technology?
The NIH report is just one example of the growing effect of technology on our children. Another study related smartphone use by children to sleep deprivation and other problems associated with poor attention spans. This is alarming since two-thirds of children take their smartphones to bed with them.
One group of scientists found that the more time four-year-olds spent interacting with media, the shorter their sleep was at ages four and six. A study published by Harvard Medical School has shown that blue-tinged light emitted by devices such as smartphones and tablets suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone vital to good sleep.
Practical ways to manage technology
In The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, Andy Crouch offers practical commitments parents can make to help their children and family manage technology. Among them:
- Turn off technology one hour a day, one day a week, and one week a year.
- Use screens for a purpose and together rather than aimlessly and alone.
- Dedicate car time to conversation with no technology.
- Be sure spouses have each other’s passwords and parents have complete access to their children’s devices.
I would add this: community is vital to our souls. We were made to do life together. Every image of the church in the New Testament is collective–a vine with many branches, a body with many parts.
By contrast, technology isolates us. For every family that plays a video game together, there are multitudes of children (and parents) who play them alone. A computer or handheld device is intentionally isolating. It’s hard for two people to use one keyboard or focus on the same screen. Such isolation can be devastating.
Full article available here: