That's the question which has arisen from a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows that the more media they use, the less happy young people tend to be.
I won't propose an answer to that question here. But I will comment on the finding that kids spend more than 7-1/2 hours a day with electronic media, up from about six hours in 1999. One respondent, a college freshman, said that she and her friends have "six or seven ways" to get in touch most days: cellphone, texting, instant messaging, email, Facebook, Twitter and Skype videoconferencing.
That's a lot of contact...but not a lot of contact.
Dr. Sharon Heller, in The Vital Touch, wrote: "Every caress, stroke, hug, squeeze, and playful game; all the rocking, swaying, swinging, spinning; all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes in our world -- all feed [the] need for sensory input and spark the neurons in her brain to grow and branch out to encompass other neurons."
Does our need for touch end once we're out of arms? Haven't I read somewhere that humans need a certain number of hugs per day to survive and a greater number to thrive? Not to mention the research showing that body language communicates far more than our words. Body language has no part of phoning, texting, instant messaging, emailing, etc., etc. Which means communication is not nearly as effective as talking the good old-fashioned way: face to face.
Seems like maybe I answered the question after all...What are your thoughts?
To see the way media usage broke down, click here.