Even outside of work, we’re attracted to our phones, laptops, and smart watches so much so that minutes, sometimes hours, can sprint by before we ever look up to discover it’s near midnight.
We need those screens. For sure. Or at least we think we do. But every notification from our smart phones can trigger cortisol, the stress hormone. Repeated often throughout the day, the added cortisol can overwhelm you.
It can reduce not only your attention span but also your memory for things like where you parked your car or what you had for lunch yesterday, said Jenny Lobb, an educator with the Franklin County office of Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
“If you are immersed in a screen and pushing them away when they try to engage, children will learn that’s acceptable—and do that.”—Jenny Lobb
Video games, texts, and social media posts can also trigger the reward center in our brains, releasing dopamine. No wonder we get addicted.
Distracted by phones, parents can become less patient and sometimes respond more harshly to their children, sending them away so they can get back to their latest email, text, or Facebook post, said Lobb, who specializes in health and wellness and gives webinars on disconnecting digitally.
Meanwhile, children notice.
“They will do what they see you do,” Lobb said. “If you are immersed in a screen and pushing them away when they try to engage, children will learn that’s acceptable—and do that.”
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