Actor Christopher Knight of Brady Bunch fame speculated in an interview with Larry King on Monday that the proliferation of tech and social media could be behind an increase in cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“The fact is, this thing is in all of us. But our society has changed so much since we were hunters and gatherers,” Knight argued. “There’s so much more to be distracted by that at some point every one of us will become ADHD.”
The 57-year-old former child star was diagnosed with ADHD in 1997. Data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates an increase in the number of children diagnosed with the condition since 2003.
Another panelist, UCLA researcher and psychiatry professor Gary Small, attributed the increase in part to rising awareness and screening procedures for ADHD.
When King asked Small whether “texting, everything, which I try to avoid” has also been a factor, Small related a conversation he had with his daughter regarding their lack of communication.
“I said to her, ‘Rachel, I just don’t feel you listen to me when you’re texting while you’re talking,'” Small said. “There’s no eye contact. We recently did a study at UCLA where we found that when we withdrew teenagers from their screens, their ability to read human emotion increased significantly. So we’re losing our human contact skills, and we’re distracted all over the place.”
The Washington Post reported last week that, while King has an active Twitter account, he does not enter his posts himself. Instead, he leaves a voicemail on a personal phone number, and his message is transcribed and posted by an assistant.
The program, as aired on Ora.TV on Monday, can be seen in its entirety below.