ADHD and technology are topics that are on the minds of a lot of individuals and parents. Technology impacts every area of our society these days. It’s nearly impossible to avoid its influences.
With the number of children and adults being diagnosed with ADHD, it begs the question: what is the real connection between ADHD and technology?
Looking deeper, this brings up three very important questions that can shed some light on this complex relationship. Let’s look at each of these questions more in depth.
Does Technology Cause ADHD?
In a Time report on a nation of kids with gadgets and ADHD, the authors explored the connections between ADHD and technology. In the article, the authors did note that the rise in diagnosis of children with ADHD appeared to correlate with the rise in technology usage. However, correlation doesn’t necessarily show cause and effect.
The article points out that many doctors are hesitant about attributing ADHD to increased screen usage. The reason: there’s just not enough evidence that supports such a claim.
While technology might not necessarily cause ADHD, that’s not the end of the story. There yet still is a connection between ADHD and technology. This connection lies in technology’s impact on ADHD symptoms.
Does Technology Increase ADHD Symptoms?
While it is difficult to know whether increased technology usage contributes to ADHD diagnosis, we do know that technology can tend to increase ADHD symptoms. It’s in managing the symptoms, that you can most likely limit the negative impacts of ADHD and technology.
Researchers refer to an obsessive connection to technology that has a negative impact on one’s life as Internet addiction. Unfortunately, researchers have also found that individuals with ADHD have a higher tendency towards Internet addiction. A resource analyzing the effects of too much screen time reports that up to 25 percent of those with ADHD have a tendency towards Internet addiction.
ADHD symptoms can make technology usage problematic especially for children. ADHD and technology can combine to negatively impact impulse control, time management and sleep. The important thing for parents is finding ways to help kids with ADHD manage screen time.
Let’s look at a few ways of finding that right balance for both individuals with ADHD and parents looking to help their kids.
What’s the right balance of ADHD and technology?
Not all technology produces negative results or behaviors. ADHD and technology aren’t always necessarily at odds with one another. There are many positive things that technology can provide us even those of us with ADHD. For instance, there’s reason to believe that video games increase memory for ADHD individuals.
Still, to limit the negative impact of ADHD and technology you need to know how to limit screen time. Limiting screen time starts with keeping screens out of your bedroom. We don’t need screens when we sleep, so keep them away from the bedroom, especially for your kids.
Set limits on your screen time usage at home. Find ways to better manage your and your kids’ smartphone use. No one likes to limit or track their use of TV and internet, but tracking our usage helps us strike a positive balance. You should limit watching TV at night to no more than an hour.
Keep track of how much time you spend watching screens. The results will most likely shock you. Make a resolution to lower the amount of screen time over the next month or so.
Use the extra time by replacing screen time with something that benefits your ADHD symptoms. Replacements could be spending more time outside or with friends or exercising. In particular play and exercise increase ADHD focus and should be used in place of screen time.
Look for good resources in print and online about limiting screen time and finding a healthy balance. Many articles discuss ADHD and technology and finding ways to refocus.