Too much screen time is actually bad for your health

Your Phone vs. Your Heart, New York Times, March 23, 2013

A fabulous article, one worth reading and re-reading. A research psychologist at UNC draws some interesting societal conclusions that grow out of solid psychological research. It seems that too much screen time can be quite detrimental to the health of your heart.

By heart she means both the actual heart, or more precisely the vagal nerve that supplies nerve connection to the heart, and ones’ overall emotional connection to other humans.

heart

She describes research in which she and her group work to understand how connectedness between human beings enhances their vagal tone, that is the variability in heart rate possible for a given human. The more direct connectedness one experiences with other humans, the higher the vagal tone. The opposite is also apparently true,: the more connection with media machines, the lower the vagal tone.

So over connection with media machines and less time in face to face contact with other humans does take its toll, and the changes become hardwired in our central nervous system. Though the results of her group’s research are yet to be published, I look forward to reading them with much anticipation.