By J.D. Whitney, Educational Specialist at After Rehab Help

A Newly Identified Addiction Attacks Decision Making—

but Parents can Alter its Course

September 29, 2017– Poor performance in school, an inability to focus on homework or even a short conversation, and real struggles to make decisions that require reflection. Sounds like ADD, right? Probably not, says Dr. Rob Reiher, Ph.D., a respected child and adolescent media expert and developmental psychologist, whose latest project, FutureWise is an educational hub for parents who are trying to understand why distraction seems to be a theme in their son/daughter’s life. Reiher, along with other psychological researchers such as Jean Twenge, author of iGen, is sounding the alarm about what he terms an onslaught of “Noise” and its impact on developing brains.

   According to studies by Common Sense Media, the average child/adolescent/young adult spends more than 9 hours each day interacting with a screen—and that does not count school research. In an article recently published in the Sacramento Bee, Dr. Reiher states that this “Cycle of Noise” distracts a young person’s brain so much so that wise decisions become far less possible. Multi-tasking, says Reiher, is the great American myth. “The brain cannot actually fully focus on a distraction when it is supposed to be focused on learning, cognitive skills like processing problems, or making wise decisions. The problem escalates when we are at the level of addiction to media, as we are now.”

   According to Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian addiction expert, who says that because the internet is often a craving that provides relief, and that can be hard to give up, it can qualify as an addiction. Sadly, high use of it as an escape can destroy family and friend connections.

   Reiher points to recent research by Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, at the Stanford University School of Medicine, which indicates that that in a recent survey, there were potential markers for “problematic internet use” in a large population of the subjects.

The “Noise Culture,” Reiher states, impacts children’s and adolescent’s ability to make decisions while at the same time, feeding “distraction addiction.”

Read the full article to learn more about this recently identified effect on your son/daughter’s ability to think clearly.

*FutureWise is a serious educational portal for parents who are conscious about understanding changes in the world surrounding their children today.

*After Rehab will soon be releasing a program for positive media/tech balance. We currently include many unique, practical suggestions in this area in our consulting programs.


Aboujaoude, Elias; Koran, Lorin.  CNS Spectrums: The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine. Oct. 2006.

Twenge, Jean. IGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less ebellious, More Tollerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What that Means for the Rest of Us. Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster,2017.


Zhou, Yan, Fu-Chun Lin, Ya-Song Du, Ling-di Qin, Zhi-Min Zhao, Jian-Rong Xu, and Hao Lei. “Gray Matter Abnormalities in Internet Addiction: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study.” European Journal of Radiology 79, no. 1 (July 2011): 92–95. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.10.025.