Child psychologist Yekaterina Murashova describes an unusual experiment in her book showing what happened when a group of teenagers were deprived of access to the internet and modern technology for a single day. We think it’s well worth checking out — you can consider the implications for yourself.
Children and teenagers aged between 12 and 18 years voluntarily spent eight hours alone without access to any means of communication (mobile phones; the internet, etc.). They were also forbidden to turn on the computer, any other electronic gadgets, the radio and the TV. But they were allowed to engage in a number of ’classic’ activities by themselves: writing, reading, playing musical instruments, painting, needlework, singing, walking, and so on.
The author of the experiment, a family psychologist, wanted to prove her working hypothesis that the today’s generation of young people are too often entertained by things not of their making, are incapable of finding ways to keep themselves busy, and are completely unfamiliar with the idea of the world of their imagination. According to the rules of the experiment, the children had to explain the next day how they had coped with being alone under such conditions. They were allowed to describe how they felt at the time of the experiment, and keep a record their actions and thoughts. In the case of excessive anxiety, discomfort or stress the project leaders would recommend stopping the experiment immediately, recording the time and the reason for its termination.
At first glance, the idea seems rather harmless. That’s why the psychologist who organised it mistakenly believed that the experiment would be absolutely safe. Nobody expected such shocking results. Only three of the 68 participants reached the end of the experiment — one girl and two boys. Three of the participants had suicidal thoughts. Five of them experienced intense panic attacks. Twenty-seven experienced symptoms such as nausea, sweating, dizziness, hot flushes and abdominal pain. Almost everyone who took part experienced feelings of fear and anxiety.
TO BE CONTINUED ON
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