There's studies that have been conducted that show that behavioral changes occur when children play video games or watch screens. But even without science it can been seen in everyday life, in my work as a waitress or being on public transport I've watched children being parented by screens and the dulled down stupor they drift into. A photographer captured this in a very exposing collection called 'Idiot Box'.
If the dulling down of an otherwise bright and lively child isn't an indicator of behavioral change it is made more apparent when the screen is taken away - anger, frustration, tantrums and tears follow.
And back when gaming I did the same at the age of 21 when the internet went down. The stance my parents took was that it was an unhealthy obsession and disconnection from the screen was a good thing. However in that needing of screen time there was the belief that there was nothing outside the relationship with video games as the quality of all other relationships were tense and reactive at best and an overall misery.
I also found when leaving the computer on my own accord that there was an intense anger towards others and myself as there was a tension that could not be quelled without games or so I believed.
I now know that connection with myself and then connection with others is the greatest healer of tension. Whereas entertainment is a distraction and a delay of addressing the tension of what we are feeling.
What is needed today is an understanding of sensitivity and that we are all sensitive, as children especially so. Our issues stem from our relationships and the qualities of how we are, how we speak and live with each other, the quality we leave an area or room with for example that clash against how we feel to be with each other.
Quelling a tantrum with a screen may stop the crying but it has long term damage. As the child grows up not understanding how to process their feelings or reactions to life and resolve relationship challenges and becomes reliant on the screen to make things better they withdraw from the biggest factor in our lives - people.
But relying on outside props to our inner feelings does not work, no amount of food can allow us to feel full for longer than a few hours or a day before we want more and if we looked at rising obesity rates we could say this method of dealing with life isn't working by the measure of our health.
The same goes for numbing what we feel with the screen however the impact will affect our life even more. As these children grow up they will not be able to function in life when presented with a challenge and no game to turn to.
These people will be running industry and managing the world, by setting them up to rely on external sources we set them up to fail in learning from and embracing new situations and change when life requires them to be with people and not with a computer.
Life cannot be lived from behind a screen, it is but a small, miserable existence we have accepted as normal at the price of our bodily, relationship and societal health.
If it were not for the support of Universal Medicine, presenting on what it means and how to understand my sensitivity and honor this part of myself I wouldn’t know any different and continue to play games and hold much tension within me.
During the gaming days I could barely cope with life, managing three days a week in a small farm shop and when moving to full time work I broke down every single night.
Learning how to support myself from within allowed me to handle life without the props and over time life has become more stable with a greater commitment to life and an appreciation of myself and others.
To face the tension within is simple but can feel very daunting if living in distraction and relying on technology or other behaviours to redirect our attention.
Some simple starting points to support...
• When feeling tense, stop and focus on breathing in gently at the tip of the nose
• When feeling tense or stressed try walking differently
• Go to the bathroom when needed
• Talk to someone or to yourself or the child 'How do you feel?'
Connecting to the sensitivity within us and each other is powerful.
Tension builds into stress when we don't address or give a voice to what we are feeling
Stress builds into withdrawal and disengagement from life. Our reliance on screens and technology quells the outward, obvious stress but does not address or heal the inner tension of what we are feeling.
By honoring what we feel we drop the stress and overwhelm away from life as we can deal with the tension from within more easily when the distractions are not there.