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“It’s hard to observe an increasing trend in all types of media consumption, multimedia multitasking and ADHD. [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] said Dr. Kalmasi, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
While the link between ADHD and screen time is controversial, new research suggests that the types of short, fast-paced videos kids watch today are part of the reason they struggle to engage in long-term activities.
Information and Communication Technology Technical CommitteeKnown in the domestic market as Douyin, it debuted in China in September 2016 as a short video sharing platform, mainly for lip-synching and dance videos, but has become the most downloaded in 2019, according to an article published on NeuroImage platform.Newest year.
The article is one of several studies examining the effects of TikTok on the brain, examining how personalized videos affect the brain’s reward center compared to general interest videos.
Children’s mental health suffers if they spend too much time on electronic devices, study suggests
The participants’ MRIs were strongly activated in the addictive part of their brains watching personalized videos, and it was found that some users had difficulty controlling when to stop watching.
Generally, activities that require sustained attention, such as reading and math problems, use the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and impulse control, the prefrontal cortex, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Directed attention is the ability to suppress distraction, maintain focus, and shift attention appropriately. It requires higher-level skills such as planning and prioritization,” said Dr. Michael Manos, clinical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Children’s Attention and Learning. . .
But according to media reports, many children struggle with this skill because the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until age 25.
But Manos points out, “While children’s brains are used to constant change, the brain has a hard time adapting to non-digital activities where things don’t change as quickly.”
According to a recent Wall Street Journal investigation, TikTok uses an algorithm to personalize the video feed based on how long they watch each video, then scroll through similar content.
But the paper noted that the company is currently working on ways for algorithms to diversify its videos, and a TikTok spokeswoman said it was working to reduce excessive application times.
But TikTok isn’t the only social platform kids can’t get away with, and Google has also restricted usage by not automatically playing videos for accounts of people under 18, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine in anticipation of a reward, so the surge in dopamine makes us crave more — delicious food, medicine, or viral TikTok videos.
“TikTok is a dopamine machine,” said Dr. John Hutton, a pediatrician and director of the Center for Reading and Literacy Discovery at Cincinnati Children’s.
“If you want kids to pay attention, they have to practice paying attention. »
Some simple strategies to increase a child’s attention span are to encourage exercise and playtime, however: “Depriving kids of technology won’t work, but at the same time reduce it and build something else, like playing outdoor work,” says John Harry, The Stolen The Focus: Why You Can’t Concentrate and How to Think Deeper Again.
TikTok and YouTube also allow parents to create their own accounts and link them to their children, called Family Pairing and Google Family Link, respectively, to limit usage, but parents can also set direct restrictions on Apple and Android devices.
“We’re committed to empowering parents to understand and control how their teens use TikTok, and to foster important conversations within families about responsible browsing of digital platforms,” TikTok said in a 2020 press release.
Increased social media use has implications for teens’ mental health
Because kids don’t want to put down their entertainment devices initially, they should practice turning them off, as this will gradually strengthen the connections in their brains, making it easier for them to turn off next time, says Bonnie Nagel, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University and behavioral neuroscience.
Some examples of how to do this is to not allow children to use their social media devices at the dinner table and set limits on how long they can be used each day, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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