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General News    H4'ed 2/9/16

iTech Addiction, Danger and Damage--Mari Swingle, Author iMinds: Transcript Part 1

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M.S.: I'm going to say this is now essentially from baby to 6 sometimes 8. Again, I can't just give you specific age because it's depending on parental behavior. We also have older children whose parents where extreme techies and thought that this was the best and the greatest, and they were really helping their children's education and these children had iTech devices long before the supposed designated generation.

Rob: Yeah, one thing I recently read was that Steve Jobs, with his kids, did not allow them to even have an iPad and limited their access to iTech to like an hour a day and that's very common in Silicon Valley.

M.S.: Yes, because they know. They know. Unfortunately we see this over and over again sometimes there's this personal versus business conflict. Sometimes, it's overt, I really have a problem with what I refer to as vested interest. Again I could go on and on about this but, yeah of course he knew.

Rob: So we're talking about this is a brand-new generation we know very little about it. Do we have any idea how this is going to affect them as grownups? These iBabies? And this way of living where they're immersed and completely from there from the time they're born? I mean I have a granddaughter, she's 10 months old and you put a smart phone in front of her and she lights up, basically, because it's not like she's playing with it but she's just like we give her some much attention I probably taken a couple thousand photos of her with it. A lot of them are in face view so she can see the photos that I'm taking. It's not like she's playing with it but already she's been exposed to it.

M.S.: You're granddaughter has positive association with it. That's part of it. Look at what happens to your face when you're taking the pictures, you are a very happy grandfather so they're learning that but you could say the same with cameras of old except for the frequency of it because now a picture costs nothing. Every time you took a picture and then what I'm going to refer as yester year, it cost you at least a $1.50 but I'm getting sidetracked here. What I think really will help is just look at what's happening in their current behavior and project it forward. So the obvious is what I've already talked about in terms of attachment, what they're reaching for, they're reaching for iTech as opposed to people. They're also reaching for iTech instead of stuffies and dolls and things so that portion, again, they're not even reaching for positive substitution, snuggly substitution. The other is the huge effect on learning creativity and innovation. They're not looking around in their environment, they're not observing anything so they're not taking in things from their environment, their learning is restricted as to what they're seeing on the screen. It also has implications in terms of integration of knowledge. You need blank spaces to ponder and to essentially integrate what you've learned with what you've observed. You also need blank spaces to be bored and come up with your own ideas of whether this object will move or make a noise or things like that. None of this is happening.

Rob: Why? What do you mean none of this is happening? Why do you say it's not happening?

M.S.: Well if a child is only focused on a digital device, they're not looking up at their environment, so they're not observing anything in their environment. So in terms of, they're not learning anything from their general environment, they're limited to what the screen is teaching and if we look back at the good old baby Einstein series, there were some beautiful studies on that in terms of the programs that were actually designed to teach vocabulary, the children that followed those programs I think it was actually they knew 6 to 8 words less per exposure than the children that didn't. I might have my numbers here wrong so please don't quote me on that. Please go to the original studies but essentially what they found is the children were learning less by watching the programs than in their own environment and what it was is the iTech device or the screen was limiting the absorption of all other environmental stimuli.

Rob: So I think one thing that we could conclude, I would conclude from reading your book is that there's an awful lot of research even in messaging that using computers, playing games because that's a big part of your book too helps people to get better at some stuff and what I take away from your book is that a lot of those studies had major flaws and that there really, they are very serious issues and considerations about how the use of this technology can diminish functioning, really.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

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