The US Navy’s head of addiction research, Cmdr. Dr. Andrew Doan, likes media screen time to “digital pharmakeia” (Greek for pharmaceuticals), a term he coined to explain the neurobiological effects produced by video technologies. Recent brain-imaging research by the US military confirms that glowing screens affect the brain’s frontal cortex – which controls executive functioning, including impulse control – in exactly the same way that drugs like cocaine, morphine and heroin do.
The drug addiction effect of digital media raises some serious questions about the amount of screen time children are permitted to have on a daily basis. The more a child is stimulated, the more that child needs to keep getting stimulated in order to hold their attention.
In light of the advancements made in technology and culture shift, a big ‘What If’ is considering whether digital media addiction can be included in a biblical understanding of prophetic biblical verses which make use of the Greek word pharmakeia, since the effect on the brain is so similar.
Strong’s 5331 pharmakeía (from pharmakeuō, “administer drugs”) – properly, drug-related sorcery, like the practice of magical-arts, etc.