SANTA ROSA, CA—In a troubling study released by the California Parenting Institute on Thursday, behavioral experts found convincing evidence indicating that the excessive use of cell phones, computers, and other devices greatly increases a child’s risk of becoming an influencer. “Our research strongly suggests that those children who are allowed significant screen time run a much higher chance of filming an unboxing video or urging viewers to ‘hit follow’ or ‘smash like’ on their posts,” said head researcher Shandi Bauer, adding that their research included MRI scans indicating that children who spend time on electronic devices often begin to develop online personas oriented purely towards attracting the attention of focused target markets, becoming far more likely to promote products on YouTube or Instagram. “The effects of such behaviors are staggering. Our studies found that even an hour of screen time a day in a child aged 3-5 can quickly evolve into three sponsored blogs, a branded event series, and a consulting business by the time they’re 10. Before you know it, they’re referring to themselves as an ‘entrepreneur’ and are unable to discuss even the simplest topics without going into how it relates to digital strategy.” Bauer concluded the sobering presentation with a litany of young people who found themselves intellectually bereft, emotionally empty brand ambassadors before reaching 18.
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