Dimitri Christakis is a pediatrician, parent and researcher whose influential findings are helping identify optimal media exposure for children. This TED talk is highly recommended for anybody interested in the topic of media and children.
“We need more real time play today and less fast paced media.” The research presented in this talk shows the effect and consequences of media exposure on the developing mind.
“A typical newborn brain weighs 333 grams by two years old it will have tripled in size an extraordinary growth rate, unparalled over a life course. Humans are born with a life time supply of brain cells, or neurons. But that’s not what actually grows, it’s the connections between the neurons that grow, known as the synapses that account for brain growth and these form based on early experiences. We are born with about 2,500 by age 3 we have about 15,000.
We are technologizing childhood today in a way that is unprecedented. In 1970 the average age that children began to watch television regularly was 4 years of age. Today based on research, the average age is 4 months. It’s not just how old the child is but how much television they watch, the typical child under the age of 5 is watching on average of 4.5 hours per day, that’s as much as 40% of their waking hours. The more television a child watched before the age of three the more likely they were to exhibit attentional problems at school age. Specifically, for every hour they watched before the age of three the chances of them having attentional problems at school age increased by about 10%. So a child who watched two hours of t.v. a day before the age of three were 20% more likely to have attention problems compared to a child who watched none.”