Screens: comparable to psychotropic drugs?


As a way to distract your children, Several people choose to give them mobile devices with the aim of diverting their attention.

However, this practice, before facilitating the task of raising children, can be the opposite, generating problems for younger people to interact due to the addiction that the content that is seen on the screen can generate.

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This has not gone unnoticed on the part of the World Health Organization, an entity that has already added addiction to video games to its list of conditions. Despite this, although violent behaviors can occur, this scourge transcends the balance of morality, of good and bad, of yes or no.

Many parents use screens as a babysitter. They demand the screens because they know that they are given them“, said Carina Castro Fumero, pediatric neuropsychologist and author of the book ‘What can I do?’for ‘La Nación’, from Argentina.

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This is related to the dopaminea neurotransmitter in the brain which is activated when a person participates in something that is fun or pleasurable.



Science confirmed that the use of screens can generate high levels of addiction, resembling them with psychotropic drugs. According to research from the indiana universityhe frontal cortex of the brainthat sector that controls executive functioning, including impulse management, is the most affected area.

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Pether Whybrow, director of neuroscience at the University of California.defined screens as “digital cocaine” and Andrew Doan, head of addiction research for the Pentagon and the United States Navydefines it as “digital pharmacy“.

It has been proven that the excessive use of screens can generate an addiction so strong that the washington university A virtual reality video game has been used to help control pain for people who have suffered burns in military trials.

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The hegemonic presence is that of vision: there is a blurring of the gaze, a slight presence of the audible and an almost disappearance of listening.“he mentioned Daniel Calmels, psychomotrician and writer, author of ‘Psychomotricity in childhood’for ‘The Nation’.

The Spanish psychiatrist and popularizer María Velasco adheres to this, who mentioned that “In consultation it is seen that the consequences in childhood are devastating. The brain is a superplastic organ, we can mold it according to the characteristics of the life we ​​have and thus be able to adapt and survive better. Reversing the damage, from negative events to a childhood full of screens, will depend on what has been caused. Not everything can be reversed“.




The culture of video games

One of the factors that has defined postmodern society has been video games.

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Industry data shows that 36 of the 100 most downloaded mobile games are so-called ‘hypercasuals’, those that are very easy to play and are used by those who would not define themselves as gamers, and play them casually while waiting for the customer service. doctor“, explained Marcelo Gantman, specialist in sports and now working on the impact of new technologies.

With the gradual reduction of real and tangible spaces for interaction due to this scourge, they raised the alert of specialists. “In the park you see the lack of ductility of movement, the little capacity for emotional regulation, the violent reactions. When someone comes to the office and we review the number of hours the child spends exposed to the television or cell phone, we begin to look for strategies to reduce them, and the behaviors change“, pointed out the psychologist and psychoneuroeducator Sofía Celeste Lewicki, author of ‘Tan mal. yes we go outfor the Argentine medium.

He human beingbeing a social animal, so it needs to relate to its environment and with those around it through the senses.

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In neuroscience, there are studies that show, especially after the pandemic, that 10-year-olds have already been detected with the prefrontal cortex that corresponds to 5-year-olds. Let us remember that we have memory there, the ability to express, to regulate emotions, to concentrate, to solve problems (…). It has been seen that when I do, touch, and smell evidence, the prefrontal cortex is formed, but when I do all this through screens, it does not happen.“, Explain Cristina Gutiérrez Lestón, applied emotional education researcher for the same medium.

In the case of adults, the relationship with screen devices is usually considered from a quantitative and not a qualitative point of view. “In general terms, children and adolescents, when they encounter other types of experiences, tend to forget about screens. They do not have the dependence that we believe they do have, except in very specific cases, technological dependence in children and adolescents does not reach to the level of addiction that adults can have. In children and adolescents, the screen arrives more as part of an impoverishment of their experience”indicates Luciano Lutereau, psychoanalyst, teacher and researcher, author of ‘Those rare new adolescents’.


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