Experts have warned that the culture of encouraging children to use computers from their earliest years is harming their brains.
Baroness Greenfield from Oxford University issued a stark warning over the growing trend of primary school age children spending hours on keyboards and 'juvenile social networking'.
AdvertisementAccording to her, children cooped up indoors staring at screens were likely to have a 'different mindset' as compared to who played out.
She also said that children who spend hours online every day grow up only seeing the world in 2D, whereas those with a proper balance between computer use and the wider environment 'live in 3D'.
The neuroscientist's warning comes days after a study revealed how more than a quarter of children aged just nine and ten have their own profile on social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo, Myspace or Twitter.
Studies have also warned that today's children are reading less than previous generations.
"There are attempts to get every young child into juvenile social networking under parental supervision, but they are not protected by anyone saying kids are too young to be on the internet," the Daily Mail quoted Baroness Greenfield as saying.
"One shouldn't be surprised if a child playing in a park or in the street has a different mindset from a child limited to their room. I am worried about what amount of time a child spends in front of a screen. I feel they are not living a full life, they are living a 2D life," she said.
She said that the brain is "exquisitely sensitive to the environment. Therefore it is crucial to think about what environment young children are in. The 21st century environment is unprecedented."
"The issue for parents and teachers and for all of us as a society is to shape the environment for children so that it's appealing to a child not to sit in front of the computer, so that they choose to live in 3D," she told the Times Educational Supplement.
"I'd like to see the computer reclaimed as a means to an end, not an end in itself," she added.
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