A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids. Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them. Psyblog described the study, which set up a camp program to occupy children used to spending 4-5 hours a day watching screens.
At the camp, the children weren’t allowed to use any electronic devices, while the other group went about their normal, everyday lives.
It was quite a change for those children who attended the Pali Institute as the usual amount of time they spent texting, watching TV and playing video games was 4.5 hours per day — and that was on a typical school day.
After five days at the Institute, the children’s ability to read facial emotions improved tremendously in comparison to those who’d had their electronic devices for the week.
The number of errors they made on the test reduced by around one-third.
Yalda Uhls, who was the study’s lead author, said:
“You can’t learn nonverbal emotional cues from a screen in the way you can learn it from face-to-face communication.
If you’re not practicing face-to-face communication, you could be losing important social skills.”