How wireless connectivity may ‘disconnect’ the brain

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

2013 July Monthly Banana Moments Round Up

Photo: QuinnDombrowski via Flickr

In a recent edition of, Devra Davis, a scientist and president of the Environmental Health Trust, published an opinion piece on cell phone addiction. Citing the South Korean experience wherein one in five students are addicted to their smart phones, she urges U. S. parents and educators to take note.

According to her report, South Korea is ahead of the rest of the world with regard to “Internet addiction” as their population of youth is spending the most hours per day on wireless devices. The concern Davis reports is that the brain development is evolving in a lopsided way as the left-side (reasoning/logic) is strengthened by the technology, while the right side (creativity, memory and problem solving) is underdeveloped.

The term that the doctors in Seoul use is “digital dementia” according to a Telegraph June 2013 report, because the right side of the brain linked to attention and memory span is crippled thus creating problems for youth resembling an aging brain. Problem solving and relationships may prove more challenging for this generation. (See also the WSJ report.)

Wireless connectivity is seductive, and so it is important that we have some way to stage our children’s engagement in the social network in a way that mitigates imbalanced development of the brain as well as unwelcome manipulation of their precious hearts and minds.

To that end, my next book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media will be released in September. It includes a proposed “Cyber Rites of Passage” for granting limited and then eventually autonomous access to wireless connectivity. It is a strategic way to help children strike a balance between their ability to think for themselves, exercise good judgment, and eventually safely navigate WWW connectivity in secure ways without parental oversight. Much like learning to drive a car (which starts by the example we set when our children are young), the unsupervised use of wireless devices should be the end result of a lengthy apprenticeship that demonstrates how to steer our own ships in life.

A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media will be featured in the September edition of LIVING magazine (El Dorado, Folsom and Granite Bay Communities). To visit the magazine on-line go to: LIVING magazine


Parents Who Rock July 2013

Our brains and the parent-child relationship

Julie Anderson, founder of Your Best Mind in Grass Valley, California, spoke at the Parents Who Rock Meet up in Roseville, California this month. Anderson educates and consults with firms and families on how to understand the brain and personality connection as it relates to relationships and learning. Her message about understanding the brain and the implications for how we parent offers insight for responding to children’s individual reactions to opportunities, constraints and challenges. (Read more…)

2013 July Banana Moments Stories Round Up

Weekly Cyber Tuesday Topics on The Fish 103.9FM

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner


Joanna Jullien “Parental authority cannot be taken. It can only be lost when we surrender it.” Photo by: Christi Benz

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM, Tuesdays. Her next book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media will be released in the fall 2013.

Fresh Start Family Culture Builder for Household Executives.

Whether you are just starting family life with infants and small children, or you are a seasoned parent with teenagers and young adults, or a blend of the two, it is never too early or late to get a fresh start.

So we all know that the Internet and mobile phones are a game changer for parenting and family life.

And sometimes we just need to hit the “reset button” in order to clear out all of the corrupting messages of the untruth in the network culture, and transform our family life into a liberating experience. There is an opportunity to form deep, rich parent-child bonds in this environment that conditions youth for authority as a relational experience, rather than a matter of structure or position.  To learn more about bringing a Fresh Start workshop to your parent community, contact Joanna at


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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.