The recent Colorado Denver cinema shooting highlights the very real connection between violence and the screen. Children aged 8 to 18 spend an average of 6 hours and 21 minutes daily using media—more time than they spend in school or with their parents.
‘More than 2,200 studies have linked media use and aggressive behavior. By age 18, a child will, on average, have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence, including 18,000 murders. Children’s programs – shows that one would expect to be free of violence – average 14 violent acts per hour, 8 more than adult programs. For adolescents, the influence of violence in media may even prove fatal: the top three causes of death among 15 to 19 year-olds all involve accidental or intended violence.’ [ 1]
The connection between watching violence on television and aggressive behavior is that the correlation is ‘stronger than those linking calcium with bone density and passive smoke with lung cancer.
Daphne Bavelier, in Children, Wired: For Better and for Worse states ‘The central question for researchers is therefore not whether technology is affecting cognitive development—that is a given. The question is instead, how is technology affecting cognitive development? Are the changes for the better or for the worse? How can we harness technology to effect more changes for the better? How do we limit technology’s ability to effect changes for the worse? ‘ 
Violent computer games affect children’s wellbeing by desensitizing them to violence in the real world and disconnecting children from their feeling world.
The desensitization of children to violence combined with lack of time in the outdoor world is creating a future generation who are more connected to the world inside the computer than to the outside world. An extreme example was of a young South Korean couple who left their baby to starve to death whilst they went to an internet gaming parlour to tend to their ‘virtual’ baby. 
In South Korea there are two million people classified by the government as ‘internet addicts’.
Susan Greenfield asks: “What can we offer children that is even more compelling, fulfilling, exciting?” We should be planning a 3D environment for our children [to enjoy] instead of putting them in front of a 2D one.’ 
In a media literacy study in 2003 by a Stanford researcher, third and fourth graders participated in a media literacy program. After one week of ‘television turnoff,’ they were encouraged to follow a seven-hour-per-week budget. Additional lessons taught ‘intelligent viewing’. By the end of six months, combined average television and video game usage reduced from an initial 18 hours per week to 10 weeks per week. The children experienced a reduction in their weight. 
A way to resolve the adverse effects of screen time is balancing screen time with time in nature. For every hour spent in front of a screen, children, and adults as well, should spend the equivalent time in nature. Walking in the park, gardening, joining a community garden are some of enjoyable activities that can help us to address the imbalance.
Eco parenting is currently developing an innovative, engaging and interactive 3D ‘look inside the human body’. This 3D pilot will demonstrate a child’s wellbeing and the links to diet, lifestyle and environment. If you would like to support this project and receive a one on one consultation with Jane Hanckel and a signed copy of her book then please click here.
 Freeze Frame, Harvard School of Medical Health
 Bavelier, D., Green, ‘Children, wired – for better and for worse’
 p.85, 104, Hanckel, J., Eco parenting – growing greener children, 2011
 Greenfield, S., Living online is changing our brains, New Scientist
 p.88 104, Hanckel.J., ‘Eco parenting – growing greener children’, 2011