Neuroscience and Pope Agree on Limiting the Role of Smartphones in Life

Away from the dinner table.


Technology has its place in our lives, just not at the dinner table, according to Pope Francis.

"A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table, but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family," he said in a report. "When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family, this is a pensioner."

“In family life we learn about togetherness from a young age, which is a very beautiful virtue; the family teaches us to share, with joy, the blessings of life,” he said. 

The pope might be on to something. Family dinners are a pivotal time for development, according to pediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky.

"[Children] learn language; they learn about their own emotions; they learn how to regulate them," she said in an interview with NPR. "They learn by watching us how to have a conversation, how to read other people's facial expressions. And if that's not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones."

Think you can pay attention to your kid and send a tweet at the same time? Dan Harris says forget about it.

"We literally neurologically cannot do more than one thing at a time," says Harris.

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