Are Digital Screens Actually Bad For Kids?

From TVs to tablets, screens are ubiquitous in our modern society. What effect does that have on childhood development?

Hosted by: Brit Garner
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  • Jillianne Fanning

    Me: Yeah... I’m a teen watching this lol.Also, 2?! I wasn’t even talking until 3.

  • oldcowbb

    screen time under 2 is pretty messed up

  • Carlene Panda

    i had to entertain myself with computers since i was 3-4 years old, i'm 20 and have pretty severe depression from the lack of interaction with real people and events. i say i "had" to because i was confined to a wheelchair for a good 6 months of my developing childhood and it set me back a bit. i never learned to ride a bike or run fast, and i still have pretty bad physical coordination. hell, i didn't learn how to tie shoes until i was 17, and didn't walk down stairs properly until i was 13.growing up on the computer set off my social development too. i was diagnosed with autism in middle school but quickly grew out of it as i learned to talk to people and matured. i still don't have friends since i never socialized with anyone in elementary school and that kinda stuck. i don't identify with the symptoms of autism at all anymore as obviously i'm not the same person i was when i was 12, but i still have pretty bad social anxiety from associating social interaction with harsh punishment over what i should and shouldn't say. i never learned those rules naturally because they don't really apply on the internet.

  • Toboez

    Oh so that's why i got depression

  • Veronica S

    Young kids have super short attention span though. Playing one episode of my Little pony isn't going to hurt or inhibit my young niece. It's about moderation. I was born in 1994, when the technology revolution was on us. Sure, I played a computer game or two or played on my Gameboy color, but I got bored and did something else

  • SethMacMillan

    In regards to that button study, was it established the infants have the ability to transfer such knowledge at that age? It seems kind of like a matter of problem solving, which develops later in life.

  • Zander Rossman

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation tho. It could be that ppl with mental health issues just find online interaction more appealing than irl interaction for example, among other things

  • Ryan Daley

    I know a lot of 20 somethings who need to physically explore the world and learn how to interact with people offline.

  • Thomas Richardson

    That last study was correlational so meh.

  • TheTesirumGamer

    As and adolescents or adultIs there also problems than can accrue ?For example: insomniacs...I'm 16 years old...and...I fall asleep on my there anything that can harm me will sleeping ?

  • Chordeiles Major

    well two things first i find it problematic that all forms of technology and screentime are mixed together. second i would like to add that the correlation of people using technology and ill-beeing could easily be the other way round. this could also be passed on to children by their parents. if they are stressed and not well and use the computer as a coping device they are probably more likely to unwillingly teach that to their children.

  • Ryan McLean

    Seems like hat study failed to take into account that fact that a virtual button is a metaphorical representation of something in the real world. So thus real world translated over to virtual better than the other way. But what about teaching kids something where they already knew the real world representation but didn’t know how to do it?Seems like a dumb study

  • McHaven07

    The world seems to swing on a pendulum. Right now, we're swinging toward the technological extreme; it'll swing towards anti-tech soon enough, and then settle somewhere in the middle.

  • tuathaan

    The very specific NO SCREEN TIME rec from AAP for <2yrs infants was left behind in 2015 for somewhat gentler language. Particularly, video chat with engaged adults is called out as OK. Very disappointing to see this gotten wrong. Not certain I will watch more of this channel and concerned about the scientific integrity of the other channels.

  • friggin149

    i bet parents say their kids are more "ill" behaved because now they're doing it in the livingroom instead of on the street where you don't see it.

  • Cuddly Cactus

    I just a few things to say about this - Put that down you don't know where it's been! And wash your hands!DON'T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH!And you wonder why we can't have nice things in this house!LMAO! hahah gee how much research did they need to do before they decided it is a BAD thing to let young children sit around, indoors, not getting any physical activity, just starring at a screen?!?!?UGH! remember when adults used to tell kids to go outside & play? or turn off that tv & go outside? whatever happened to letting kids go outside to play?Wanna see what NATURE & WILD LIFE LOOKS LIKE? CHECK THIS OUT! -

  • Carbon based life form

    Man im addictes to my phone i need help

  • Elliette M.

    I think that our generation will be more relaxed about our kids using technology. Parents are more strict about technology most likely are afraid. Internet, cellphones and other smart devices are all things they didn’t have when growing up and it hasn’t been around for a long time. Idk, just a thought

  • awkszoo

    You talk about teens and children and the correlation between increased screen time and ill wellbeing, does the study consider why there was increased screen time? Like are the parents absent or emotionally neglectful? Are the kids already dealing with ill wellbeing and using technology as an escape?

  • chicken fingers

    Technology is really young compared to our thousands of years of being human. It's a great asset to our lives, but nothing comes without negatives, and it's important to understand them so we know how to use it enrich our lives without going over the edge.

  • Aron Estabillo

    Kids can't understand the correlation of virtual and physical button. That doesn't mean anything at all. It is just this is the first stimulus (button press) they are exposed to and thus will be accustomed to it. With age they will learn.

  • Rick Herz

    But, what about videogames? I used to think that I prefer the idea of my kid playing videogames and learning English, Coordination, Grammar structure, some kinesthetical abilities, and maybe nothing more, I don't know. But a tablet for a 7 year old kid just seems pretty useless to me.

  • ThatchthepicGuy 123


  • Cerulean Skigh

    I never hear any mention of correlation verses causation when people talk about technology use and mental well being. Are depressed and anxious people more likely to use technology to avoid distressing social interaction or does the tech cause low or anxious mood? This is a really important question!

  • Alkerae

    No, nonono, that first example was so bad, so unbelievably bad, like, nobody bothered to ask themselves "what ELSE could this be proof of?" oh I don't know, maybe that real life buttons, and virtual buttons, are not the same thing? Pick up a banana, and then give a baby a picture of an apple and see if they pick it up, and then draw conclusions from this exercise... somehow.

  • Wild pear running 1

    Watching this as a kid

  • Ron Doyle

    It should be illegal for someone under the age of 13 to use a smartphone

  • Rukkaru


  • watvid1

    I believe that. No screen time for under 2 otherwise they seem to become braindead

  • LoudlyListening

    Correlation doesn't equal causation

  • alainspecteur1

    Are Digital Kids Actually Bad For Screens ?

  • Joey Moursalian

    You should do a video on trichotillomania. It would really inform people

  • some person

    It's possible screen time causes psychological problems in teens, but it's also possible teens who already have psychological problems and find it harder to make friends and/or leave the house are more likely to spend more time on a screen.

  • David Adams

    It would be great to see a product that kids could use screen-time to design a toy that is then printed out in the real world using a 3D printer. PLA plastic (a common 3D printer filament) is essentially food and non-toxic. The creative possibilities would be endless. Great video, Brit.

  • Shimon Karpesh

    And then, there are programmers.

  • mahoraner niall

    When I have a kid I wouldn't give it to them 24/7 but I would give it to them sometimes

  • Franklin Lam

    I'm a bit confused about the conclusion given the data.If kids learn best on how to do things based on how they are taught (they know how to use technology better if they use technology, learn how to press a real button if someone demonstrates someone pressing a button in real life), AND the ubiquity of technology is ever accelerating, wouldn't kids be "wasting" their time learning how to do things in "real" life as opposed to digitally? Surely if the future has digital buttons on elevators and holodeck classrooms and conference rooms, isn't it better to have our children focus their time adapting to technology?

  • Suicide to Recovery

    What ever happened to playing with a stick?

  • KrazyKobold

    I'd love to see Sci Show Psych do an episode about the problems being gotten at in this article from Teen Vogue: is a fascinating example, in my mind, of how "innocently" cultural hegemony can institutionalize an "-ism" -- be it sexism, racism, etc. It requires no true "conspiracy" to happen. These studies were originally done to "help" people but they may be doing harm now.This is big and present in my mind in part because a known issue in psych research is that MANY studies in psychology especially tap 'college kids' because psych profs have hundreds of students readily available for free/cheap study by making "participate in a study" a part of class participation -- but how readily applicable can a study be that looked exclusively at "college kids" as they rarely are representative.But the studies and such are really what would stand out I bet if you guys looked into them and discussed part of how these tests are/can be flawed because of this kind of thing.As one research psychologist friend pointed out:most psych assessments, developed using White, middle aged men.

  • Danae Christodoulou

    Why do people complain?????????

  • Nerdlin Geeksly


  • Julia Prohaska

    Yay Nerdfighteria!! 3:35

  • إسمَاعيل

    Science to explain the obvious

  • Kimminatrix

    I know plenty of people who use tv as a "baby sitter" and plop the kid in front of the tv for hours so they can have alone time or just to ignore their kids.Maybe its more on the parents unwillingness to do things with the kids then the tv itself. Parents should want to do stuff with their kids instead of letting the kid watch 8 hours of tv.

  • Edward Geist

    > They can't touch, smell, taste, or feel the weight of stuff if it's virtualSure, not yet ...But give it time.

  • NyanimeGamer

    I found a news about a kid in the Philippines that just broke his mind, he cant eat, he'd cry and get mad without a computer, and so on, Incuded in it is another kid that had seizures that was later connected to lack of sleep

  • bezerbatar

    From what i can read here, more people have seen positive outcomes from using tech than not.

  • Whiteboy9711

    I think it might be important in this climate to have a video about correlation between violent video games and violence in children and teens.

  • Snoo Pl

    Pshha... Disney taught me that Love is more important than logic, reason or food. I'll be just fine (as long as someone loves me).

  • Brandi Neel

    I got here from the phone addiction video. Congrats, you got me. 😉

  • chairshoe81

    pls taek dis vid down my mommy will t8ke awy my angry birbs!! xD :c

  • Alessandra Duffie

    I wish the study on screen time and mental health had also accounted for why they were using electronics. As a person who has been bullied and introvert, I grew up using a mix of books and video games to avoid negative situations and to give myself something to do that could be done alone. And I'm sure I'm not the only case. This variable could have possibly altered the results of the study.

  • Xavier

    I’ve heard stories from my mother (who is a preschool teacher) of kids who think a blackboard is a touch screen or can’t comprehend the turning pages of a book because parents have been using the screen as a babysitting device from a young age. There’s nothing wrong with using the screen in moderation when kids are very young.

  • therabbithat

    please don't put "actually" in the title unless the answer is no. I already knew this. ffs.

  • Sangram Korgaonkar

    was waiting for the screen-time joke XD

  • TodesBrot

    1:43 Holy cow that scared me. I did not anticipate a sudden noise.

  • Kp

    Who needs to know how to press real buttons when in the future, they are all gonna be virtual on touch screen anyways.

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