Titled – ‘Digital Dementia’.
Dear Norman Lamb,
this email outlines the physical and psychological harm the growing use of technology is engendering in young people. That teenagers and young adults are now developing symptoms of dementia, hitherto associated with old age, is an indication that something is very wrong. I will be forwarding the email to the other members of the Science and Technology Committee, to the members of the Health Select Committee and also to Prof. Dame Sally Davies.
A couple of weeks ago, I dedicated myself to watching a series of over 50 interviews given by clinical health professionals, including medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, on the subject of ‘Digital Dementia’. The series was available to watch online for seven days. The phrase ‘Digital Dementia’ was coined by the neuroscientist and psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Manfred Spitzer, and used as the title of his 2012 book ‘Digitale Demenz’. It relates to the non-alzheimer’s, dementia-like symptoms which are now emerging in young people.
There was a consensus of concerns:
1. Technology use is harming children and teenagers.
2. The average time spent on screens by young people is seven and a half hours a day. This is damaging them and needs to be reduced, preferably to one hour, but two hours maximum per day.
3. Young people’s brains and nervous systems are being imbalanced by watching screens. The visual cortex is being over-stimulated whilst the prefrontal cortex is being under-stimulated.
4. The triggering of the neurotransmitter dopamine through the use of technology is leading to wide scale addiction that’s identical, in the brain, to cocaine and heroine addiction.
5. Technological addiction is being assimilated by cultures and considered socially acceptable and ‘normal’. It is not acceptable.
6. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle is depriving young bodies of the movement which is essential for physically creating and maintaining their brains.
7. The blue light emitted from screens is disrupting melatonin production which has serious physiological knock-on effects.
8. Sleep deprivation caused by cognitive over-stimulation, blue light from screens and staying up watching screens rather than going to sleep, is an increasing problem.
9. In many youngsters, the ‘fight or flight’ response is being repeatedly triggered which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, creating chronically heightened cortisol levels. Sustained cortisol levels fundamentally erode health.
10. Children are not developing resilience or the ability to make good decisions, nor are they learning proper social skills.
11. Many children are failing to develop a sturdy immune system or a healthy microbiome because they’re not playing out in nature as children used to.
12. Video games are creating aggressive behaviour and personality changes in many children.
13. Poor diet, including too much junk food, in combination with the sedentary lifestyle, is eroding young people’s health.
14. The negative impact of EMFs is causing both physical and psychological harm to young people.
15. Children absorb more RF radiation than adults because their brains contain more fluid and less fat, their skulls are thinner, their relative size is smaller and they have physiological differences. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer: ‘the average radio frequency radiation energy deposition for children exposed to mobile phone RF is two times higher in the brain and ten times higher in the bone marrow of the skull, compared with mobile phone use by adults’.
16. Young people are increasingly experiencing the same symptoms as are seen in non-alzheimer’s dementia.
17. The imminent deployment of 5G is of the greatest concern because of heightened RF radiation effects on children.
Some quotes from the health professionals:
”There are numerous cognitive issues that are occurring as a result of technology use: focus; executive functioning; working memory; dopamine/addiction.”
”The constant use or over use of digital technology is now leading to the same symptoms and signs as dementia. So this is why it’s so concerning… and this is just the beginning.”
”The brain can’t be fooled, it knows the difference between direct contact and screen contact.”
”Real happiness depends on authentic connection, not screen connection. Humans need human contact. Human contact is a central priority.”
”These children are not going to be able to thrive as adults.”
”Virtual reality skews the brain so that people lose a sense of reality. Virtual reality scares me more than anything.” (This was said by the neurologist Dr Robert Melillo)
”Most people know that it’s not good for kids to be on tech for hours on end but it’s still happening.”
”People in Silicone Valley don’t give their children tech. What is it they know that they’re not telling us?”
”It’s a crime to put a baby in front of an ipad.”
”Children shouldn’t have screen time up to three years old.”
”Technology is causing ADHD symptoms in healthy children.”
”What we’re seeing in our youth is the exacerbation of mental health problems including anxiety, depressions, fears and phobias, low self-esteem, as well as thoughts of suicide or self-harm.”
”Research is telling us that social media is increasingly impacting the anxiety, depression, self-esteem and self-confidence of our youth.”
Children and teenagers have become acclimatized to a whittled down, non-kinetic, non-authentic, 2D version of a 3D reality, which is not preparing them for adulthood but creating imbalance and confusion in their developing brains and nervous systems and generally weakening them. On top of that, their young bodies are being negatively impacted by radiofrequency radiation exposure, which is now almost inescapable.
In ‘The Mill on the Floss’, George Eliot wrote ‘We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.’ Ask practically any adult about their childhood and they’ll recount tales of tree swings, building dams across streams, playing hide and seek, inventing make believe adventures, climbing, exploring, running, chasing, and probably laughing a lot. What sort of childhood are today’s children experiencing? The majority of them are experiencing a childhood that’s been hijacked by the corporate child catcher whose mono-message is ”here’s the next ‘must have’ ”. The children of today have been so thoroughly claimed by this message, they know no better than to willingly participate in the theft of their own, authentic, natural childhoods.
The profit driving message that ‘more is better’ has been fed into the heart of western culture as if this ‘more’ is not only the ultimate panacea, but comes at no cost beyond monetary cost. The problem is, when you blow a balloon too big, it pops. The balloon of ‘more is better’ has limits, not least, the limit of harm. The use of our current technology has exceeded this limit. The endemic technological ‘more’, propelled by an endless procession of ‘the next must haves’, is increasingly translating as harm, especially in the world’s children and teenagers.
Many psychologists are applying themselves to this situation and seeking ways to both raise awareness of the problem and to find methods to address and ameliorate it. There are, however, other psychologists who serve industry rather than people and who work against this amelioration. Their mission is to apply their knowledge and skills to the optimisation of profit, not of health. In the build up to the explosion of 5G products onto the market, many of these psychologists are busily engaged in formulating how to optimally cajole and coerce young minds, through the use of tantalizing triggers, into buying their particular company’s 5G ‘must have’. The mass influx of these new and novel ‘must haves’, the primary function of which is to generate maximum profit, will inevitably take young people even further into the mire of technological orientation and immersion, exacerbating an already serious and growing societal problem.
Regarding EMF pollution, Dr Martin Blank warned, ”Although we are in the midst of a great technological transformation, the time to deal with the biological and health effects is long overdue. … To protect our children, ourselves and our eco-system, we must reduce exposure by establishing more protective guidelines.’’ The doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists involved in treating digital dementia are giving the same warning about juvenile technology overuse which reflects Dr Martin Blank’s message and basically warns that: ‘Although we are in the midst of a great technological transformation, the time to deal with the harmful effects of technology overuse on our children and teenagers is long overdue. … To protect them, we must reduce exposure by establishing more protective guidelines’.
Protection is required, not escalation…because ‘more’ is not always better.
I will finish this email with the word ‘dehumanising’… or is ‘duped’ more appropriate? How about ‘duped into dehumanization’? Those telecommunications companies are damned clever.
Thank you for your time.