A RENOWNED Clare healer believes technology should come with a warning label, as screen time among children has sky-rocketed since the pandemic.

By Emma Lernihan

Bio-energy healer Michael O’Doherty told The Clare Echo he is alarmed by the effects too much screen time may have on the brains of young people.

Data from a National Institutes of Health study, highlights that children who spend more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests. It was also discovered that some children who spent more than seven hours a day in front of screens experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex, the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.

“What I see in my clinic all the time is a huge struggle with children and parents regarding their time on screens. The amount of time that the children spend on the screens and what it is that they are looking at, reading and what influences them sometimes is not positive. It can really be a disadvantage to children,” Michael said.

Young children learn by imitating the actions of adults and exploring their environment. However, excessive screen time could not only hinder a child’s ability to observe and experience new things, but may also affect how they interact with others by narrowing their ability to focus, believes Michael – who came to national prominence after his work was championed by Irish dancing legend Michael Flatley.

Micheal claims that “screens are like a drug”, explaining, “We as human beings have addictive personalities. We are all addicted in some way. We all get that hit by surfing the net or by scrolling through different situations or articles or posts on our social media. And what happens is, the more we do that the more the brain programmes itself and in a way then it is like a drug because it stimulates the secretion of dopamine.

“They have clearly seen through SPECT scans the damage that this does to the brain. All addiction be it alcohol, drugs and sugar. We are seeing in scans that the brains of the people who spend prolonged periods of time on platforms that their brains are changing. And as a result of that could cause a huge amount of anxiety, insomnia and the food behaviour changes as well alongside that”.

Micheal concedes, “There is huge positivity in screens and there’s huge positivity in platforms if used for the right purposes. However even the time we spend learning can have a negative impact as the light can affect our sleep patterns. If we are on screens for a long period of time, our choice of food can also be sugary food and all simulants. You have to have down time, as if we don’t get people to manage these things correctly they really can be weapons of mass destruction”.

Michael believes that it is not possible to ‘wean’ a child off of technology, “we are never going to wean children off technology as the reality is that’s their future. What we need to do is equip parents with the skill to understand the dangers and then to communicate that back to their children”.

Micheal adds that children should not be allowed access to social media until they are aged 12, noting the presence of cyberbullying, abuse and narcissism which “is coming through those screens”.

Related News

dinny gould 1
Independent Dinny is still a member of Fine Gael
Cathaoirleachs_awards_2-2
Community groups & inspirational figures honoured in Galway
carmody street 1
New traffic system planned for Carmody Street in Ennis
bill slattery 21-08-23 4
Poster drama among candidates in North Clare
Latest News
Cathaoirleachs_awards_2-2
Community groups & inspirational figures honoured in Galway
carmody street 1
New traffic system planned for Carmody Street in Ennis
clare v waterford 19-05-24 john conlon 2
Clare must win or draw with Tipp to guarantee Munster final spot
avenue utd v newmarket celtic 25-05-24 1
Avenue Utd prevail in penalties to win three Clare Cups in a row & complete the double
clare v waterford minor 02-04-24 caleb walsh 1
Sligo's superior physicality too much for Clare
Premium
bill slattery 21-08-23 4
Poster drama among candidates in North Clare
clare v down camogie 25-05-24 zi yan spillane
Big boost for Clare to get upperhand over Down in opening round of camogie championship
avenue utd v newmarket celtic 05-11-23 eoin hayes 2
Hayes chasing tenth Clare Cup medal
save ennis town rally 18-05-24 5
Flynn promises to go 'as far I can' with judicial review against riverside developments of Ennis 2040
clare v cork camogie 28-04-24 john carmody 1
Carmody & Clare have targeted Down game from the get-go

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top