Internet and Social Media Usage Impacts on Mind and Global Warming

Steve Job – the inventor of Apple iPhone and iPad – limited his children from the use of technology.

“Every night, Steve insisted on dining at the big kitchen table, talking about books, history and a variety of other things.  Nobody ever took out iPad or computer.  The kids did not addict to the devices.”

What he knew of is what we are just starting to figure out.

KBO Earth is an organization that raises awareness on the impact of the internet and the Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) to Global Warming and the world’s temperature.  Most importantly, KBO Earth reveals a surprising fact that smart phones and the internet addiction would damage our health and that of our children.

During the worldwide lockdowns, global internet traffic surged by nearly 40% with its traffic doubling by 2022.  Parents worked from home while children studied online.  Even the elderly increased their time spent online as a result of staying at home and physical distancing.

The COVID-19 pandemic was initially thought to be extremely dangerous, a fear driven by media, big pharmaceutical companies.  WHO and CDC recommended people to lockdown themselves at home worldwide.

As a result, many businesses were forced to close and some went bankruptcy.  People lost their jobs, livelihood and regular life-routine.  The world turned to the internet causing a massive surge in the usage.

After two years many governments finally declared COVID-19 as an endemic, meaning that COVID-19, like seasonal flu, was here to stay and the world would need to learn to live with it.  The term “New Normal” was coined by governments to describe changes after the pandemic.  One of them has a great emphasis on the connectivity to the internet.

The world developed the habit of staying at home: spending most of our life connect to society via the Internet using smart phones, computers and other devices.  While parents are working from home, their children study online at home too.  However, after the class ends, children opt to continue to use their computers and internet causing a new phenomenon called “Social Media and Game Addiction”.

Like robots, mankind seems to get connected to the internet full time.  Facebooks Metaverse promises to connect us permanently on a virtual world as avatars to work and socialize.  Elon Musk promises to connect the world directly to our brains through a neural network, eliminating the need for devices like smartphones. 

What happened during lockdowns?

We’ve often heard parents’ complaints of the new generation that their children do nothing but engross themselves in front of the screen, isolate themselves from the real world, pay no attention and interest in playing or learning of their surroundings. Their attentive learning become short.  Consequently, their social skills and etiquette become poor.  They develop high degree of self-center and own privacy.

The KBO Earth is aware of this issue and anticipate that this problem could become national existential threat requiring to be addressed urgently.  As such, a new project called “The Mental and Brain Impact on Children due to the Abuse of Digital Data” was launched by KBO Earth.  The project aims at studying the cause and effect of the misuse of internet in children.

The plan is to educate parents about the impacts of social media addiction and internet on their children’s mental well-being, organs (brain and nervous system), and behavior, and to give recommendation of how to avoid damage from ever increasing EMF.

The Project – First Step

KBO Earth working group comprising of several experts such as General Doctor Boonlert Jantarapas – a medical specialist in human brain, and Dr. Kanokros Phalakornkul – KBO Earth Academic Lead, visited Panyaprateep School at Pak Chong District, Nakorn Ratchasima on 24 June 2022. 

Panya Prateep School was established by a group of people in the community of Thawsi School, led by Mrs Tosee Sawadi-Chuto, whose aims was to promote the study based on “Buddhist Path of Life” principle from kindergarten, elementary to secondary levels, in the form of boarding school.  The school aims at developing youths holistically.

It focuses not only academic and vocational skills so that the youths can live their live with right occupations, but also emphasis on improving lives of each individual in the community: students, teachers, and parents (or guardians) in accordance with the Buddhist Tri-Sikkhā (Threefold Learning) principle: behavior (Silā), mind (Samādhi), and wisdom (paññā). 

It is recognized that the holistic development has been inadequately emphasized compared to academic and vocational development.  As a result, there have been increasingly social, economic and environmental problems from past to present and will impact the future. 

The school is administered under Panyaprateep Foundation, having Phra Ajahn Jayasaro as chief advisor to the foundation and school.  He is determined in studying, practicing, and dispersing Dhamma of Lord Buddha, and follows the footsteps of his teacher: Luan Pu Cha Suphattho – well respected noble monk domestically and internationally.  

Panyaprateep School is one of the few schools adopting strict rules on the use of smartphones and social media.  The teaching principles of the school are completely different from other private and government schools in Thailand.

 Upon arriving Panyaprateep School, Dr. Witit Rachatatanan – the school’s director, explained the curriculum and teaching concept.  Then KBO Earth was given an opportunity to talk with students directly and ask questions.

How did they feel about being strict at school and limiting time on using their mobile phone?

When you go back home and meeting your friends from other schools, who use their mobile phones all the time. What difference do you see in their behavior?

The answers were as expected. Panyaprateep students felt that they were typically more interested in learning or having interesting things to learn or discuss with others, and were not as interested in using their smartphones all the time like their friends.

The KBO Earth team has seen the quality of students’ minds being trained different from other students where they can use smartphone without limits.

They appeared much more active, were engaged in the conversation, and stayed more focused than those students from other schools.  This is the outcome of holistic development based on the Buddhist Threefold Learning principle.

Students were informed of KBO Earth’s campaigns on Global Warming due to the use of the internet.

They were asked “Do you know that the use of social media is one of the causes of global warming and of many health issues including cancer, depression and suicide?”  The question raised interest among students.

As part of its campaign, KBO Earth looks forward to engaging teachers, parents and students on this topic in full going forward.

Next Steps

KBO Earth will continue on this project to study, collate data, and experiment as necessary so that we can bring out useful outcome to the public for their awareness of the threats to our next generation.  You may follow KBO Earth from different platforms on social media.