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SA doctors: smart device data use rising

SA doctors: smart device data use rising
SA doctors: smart device data use rising
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SAN ANTONIO -- It may not come as a surprise, but a research study on smart devices shows Americans are using more data than ever before, and local doctors say that's especially true for children.

A Pew Research Center study shows Internet use across all age groups has risen

Last year, 84% of American adults reported using the internet -- that's up 32% from the year 2000.

But psychiatrists say all that screen time may not be the best thing for kids.

Caleb Palomo is eight years old and an expert at gaming on his iPad.

His mom, Stephanie, says Caleb began playing with technology at an early age.

"I want to say since he was probably like two," said Palomo. "He would grab the phone and it was like he knew it better than me."

Caleb started out with educational programs, and now he's connecting with players from around the globe.

Something Stephanie and other parents like her couldn't do when they were growing up.

"We didn't have any of that technology back then," said Palomo.

Dr. Steven Pliszka is the head of the psychiatry department at the UT Health Science Center, and says the increase of data and social media use have generally created a more impatient society.

"I think people get bored more easily than in the past and it's kind of more difficult to get them to focus on difficult tasks," said Pliszka.

Through his research, Pliszka says he's seen more data use in the San Antonio community particularly in kids, which can compound the effects of pre-existing conditions like depression and ADHD.

"If they have those problems to begin with, then it can kind of reinforce those problems in a very negative way," said Pliszka.

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Palomo has two other kids including Caleb, and the family has rules to limit the time they spend on digital devices including a 9 PM shutdown rule no matter what.

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