"Digital Natives": First generation with lower IQ than their parents
Contrary to popular belief, the profusion of screens in all its forms; smartphones, tablets, television, it is far from improving the skills of our children. On the contrary, it has serious consequences on health, behavior and intellectual abilities.
Digital consumption by the new generations is astronomical. From the age of 2, children accumulate almost 3 hours of screen time every day. Between 8 and 12 years old they dedicate almost 4.45 hours. Between 13 and 18 years of age, it is close to 6.45 hours. In annual totals, these uses represent about 1000 hours for a kindergarten student (more than hourly volume of a school year), 1,700 hours for a high school student (2 school years), and 2,400 hours for a high school student (2.5 school years).
The consequences are on health (obesity, cardiovascular development, reduced life expectancy, etc.), on behavior (aggressiveness, depression, risk behaviors, etc.) and on intellectual capacities (language, concentration, memorization) . So much so that they strongly affect the academic success of young people.
"What we do to our children is unforgivable. Without a doubt, never in the history of humanity has such a large-scale experience of mindlessness been carried out," said neuroscientist Michel Desmurget, director of research at INSERM and author of the book. "La Fabrique du crétin digital" (The factory of the digital idiot). This book, the first synthesis of international scientific studies on the real effects of screens, is that of an angry man. The conclusion is clear: watch out for screens, they are slow poisons.
The consequences of screens on childrens brains
For the neuroscientist Michel Desmurget, the situation is dire and almost hopeless. With solid evidence to back it up, he says that digital tools lead to problems with attention, language, memorization, aggression, sleep, and poor academic performance. He adds that overexposure to screens seriously affects the intellectual development and creativity of our children.
Desmurget responded when asked by the BBC; If todays youth are the first generation in history with a lower IQ than the previous one:
"Yes. IQ is measured with a standard test. However, it is not a "frozen" test, it is often revised. (...) And by doing that, researchers have observed in many parts of the world that the IQ Intellectually increased from generation to generation.This was called the "Flynn effect".
But recently, this trend began to reverse in several countries. It is true that IQ is strongly affected by factors such as the health system, the school system, nutrition, and even environmental pollution. But if we take countries where socioeconomic factors have been fairly stable for decades, the "Flynn effect" has started to wane.
In these countries "digital natives" are the first children to have a lower IQ than their parents. It is a trend that has been documented in Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, France, etc. "he told BBC news.
For him, we are in total denial, often intoxicated by experts subject to conflicts of interest, or certain unreliable scientific studies that come from the same industry.
For this reason, he gives some advice:
Tip number one: zero screens before age six
"From zero to six years is a period of unprecedented development. Time matters. This period of great plasticity of the brain is the time when things fit together. But when this period ends, it becomes very difficult for him to acquire concentration, for example, "says Michel Desmurget.
Also, there is no proven positive effect of screens over the six years. And if a child has not had access to new technologies, they will not have a deficit in the use of computers or others in the long term. "
Tip number two: Show the example
"One of the main predictors of the use that children will make of screens: it is what adults do with them. It is not very coherent to tell your child that it is bad if you use it yourself all the time," he says.
Tip number three: Explain
"When it comes to screens, it should not be imposed, but explained. And the sooner it is explained, the better, because in adolescence it becomes difficult to frustrate them.
It is only fair that children complain about the risk of desocialization when deprived of their smartphone or tablet. To resist, know that I have many testimonies from parents who tell me: "It was difficult, but today my children are giving thanks."
Without a doubt, it is part of good parenting to perform difficult actions for well-beingof our children.