…Is Bad For Your Health.
Right. Have I got stroke news for you…‽
I have literally no idea what’s going on in that picture. When I were a kid, computer game characters worked down t’mine.
Seriously. Manic Miner featured a little guy called Miner Willy.
After he’d made his fortune in Manic Miner, Willy explored the mansion bought with the resulting wealth in Jet Set Willy. Rather brilliantly, well into the game, Jet Set Willy featured a collection of bugs which meant the game couldn’t be finished. Developers Software Projects initially attempted to pass this bug off as an intentional feature to make the game more difficult, claiming that the rooms in question were filled with poison gas.
Personally, I’d have passed it off as a metaphor.
Pretty frustrating, right? Still, that’s nothing to the obstacles modern gamers have to contend with. According to the FT, Chinese internet company Tencent recently saw its stock price fall quickly… after the death by stroke of a 17-year old who had been playing the game [Honour Of Kings] for 40 hours straight.
Jeez. Gaming really ages a dude. Or at least, being online all the time seems to have deleterious effect on The Youth.
Notwithstanding the clickbait headline, it’s an interesting and deeply researched piece. Twenge contends with extensive use of statistics that [t]here is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.
Kids aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep experts say that teens should get about nine hours of sleep a night; a teen who is getting less than seven hours a night is significantly sleep deprived. Fifty-seven percent more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991.
Screen time seems to be linked to sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation is linked to myriad issues, including compromised thinking and reasoning, susceptibility to illness, weight gain, and high blood pressure. That’s probably why Mrs Stroke Bloke wants me to cut down on my screen time.
So, what to do with kids these days? It’s probably best to turn to the experts, right?
Well, trust The Grauniad to have a couple of diametrically opposed hot takes on the matter – one from a freelance writer whose research consists solely of the words When I were a kid, computer game characters worked down t’mine copied and pasted until the required weight is achieved, and another from a former GCHQ head, who certainly must have solely our kids’ best online interests at heart.
Since ludicrously uninformed and slanted hot takes are so in demand when it comes to kids online, here’s another thought – I’ve recorded elsewhere my admiration for a young Millennial writer who has an essay forthcoming that suggests the Millennials are the spiritual successors of the Aesthetics. Like, you can’t dismiss a generation who are prodding at sexual and cultural mores while coming up with fun ideas like that, shurely?
Like, that isn’t going to get a second glance from the next generation of Doctor Who fans.
Now, Jean Twenge believes that there are material, qualitative differences between Millennials and what she calls iGen – the generation born between 1995 and 2012 and shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media.
And people haven’t even done hating on the Millennials yet!
Teens today differ from the Millennials not just in their views but in how they spend their time. The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.
Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011, Twenge continues. Well, maybe teens today are just better informed. After all, they can consume an astonishing amount of data. And there’s plenty for a young person to be depressed about.
See kids today? They’re alright. Probably.