Story by : Ghulam Hamdani Khan
Mobile Phone is becoming as important as oxygen for our lives. We feel rest less if we are not accessible to mobile phone for mare 10mints. I recall the landline phone days we used to remember more than 50 numbers; but we are now so dependent on our Mobile phones that even we are not remembering our parent’s mobile number. From allowing phone calls and sharing messages, mobile phones today incorporate camera, calculators, alarm, notebook facilities, email synchronization, access to the internet, entertainment platforms, games, various apps which fulfill more or less every requirement we have – from ordering food, medicines, grocery, News, Payment of bills and to shopping clothes and other necessities.
On the other hand, apart from all these benefits, mobile phones come with their own drawbacks such as addiction /misuse. This also brings us to the bad effect of mobile phones on child. Kids being addicted to cellphones is one of the greatest concerns in today’s times. Kids of the past grew up with outdoor games, physical toys, playing with bricks and mud; but today’s kids grow up with mobile phones. They begin to consume YouTube movies, songs, videos, games etc. from a very early age.
Harmful Effects of Screen on Kids
The impact of mobile phones on Kids and society is immense. It is this area that requires attention when you are giving your kid a cell phone. Here’s how cell phones affect kids.
- Vision problems
Increased use of cell phones is said to cause eye sight problems in kids. This may include redness, burning sensation, blurred vision dry eyes etc.
Parents should know that a developing child around the age of 2-3 years still has their retina developing and prolonged usage of such devices with bright light has enormous chances of affecting their vision (by damaging a part of the retina). Depending on the age bracket of kids, parents should ensure that they (kids) spend minimum time in front of digital screens. A 2-3-year-old kid is highly attracted towards videos and activities online be it on the big screen or mobile phone. Parents are required to minimize that time period in order to protect their vision.
- Medical Issues
As children spend more time in front of those screens, most of the time setting in front of the mobile/Tablet, less time they spend outside playing, running and burning off calories. Over time, those habits can lead to a significant weight gain / Illnesses, which can later develop into harmful diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
To prevent it from becoming a habit, parents can talk with their children about parental controls.
- Mobile Radiation
A child’s brain is extremely sensitive to handle the effects of smartphone / tablets radiation. So as parents, always make sure to keep your child’s phone fully away from the child when he/she sleeps.
- Insufficient Sleep
Addiction to phones can keep kids awake late during the night. And lack of sleep can lead to various complications in the short as well as long run
- Poor academic results
Because YouTube is the clear winner against Mathematics! Interest and time invested into entertainment is often likely to lead to poor academic results – sooner or later.
- Distance with family
With increasing interest in phone, kids begin to feel distanced from parents and this is not a good effect at all
- Access to unfitting internet data
Children are sensitive and not prepared for all kinds of information available on the internet. Unmonitored usage can lead to accidental or deliberate access to shocking, unfiltered or harmful content on the net which can adversely affect the child’s mindset. He/she might end up feeling scared, shocked, confused etc.
- Lack of Attention
Mobile games destroy the lack of attention spans. Studies have shown that the more time children spend playing video games, the poorer is their performance in studies just because of lack of attention.
- Kids become violent
Most mobiles games contain violent stuff. Due to which children who play more violent games are more likely to adopt violently and have increased aggressive thoughts. PUBG, Blue Whale and Fortnite etc. are having drastic negative effects on Kids behavior. They even forget to do their daily activities and shows disinterest to attend school even.
- Weak family bounding
The kids are giving priority in using mobile than interacting with parents and grandparents. This is creating a gap between them. The evolution in technology means modern parents are the first generation who have to figure out how to limit screen time for kids. Here’s what can a parent do to save their children from this danger.
• Keep screens out of the bedroom
Screens should be kept out of the bedroom. Parents won’t be able to monitor kid’s screen use if they are able to use devices out of your sight. For this reason, it is important make it a rule that TVs, video game systems, and computers are not allowed in your kid’s bedroom. Research shows that the presence of a TV or small screen in the bedroom can cause shorter and less restful sleep
• Spend time outside
Spending time outdoors in peaceful natural soundings, kids can peacefully engage their brain. Make a habit of taking a daily or weekly walk with Kids around your neighborhood. Or, visit a lake or park and sea beach.
• Play sports
Sports are a great way to get Kids involved in team building. Playing outside with friends’ gives children more chances to make new friends which is important to avoid the virtual online friends. Playing sports with other kids also helps build social skills.
• Assign House Management Task
Involving Kids along with parents in house management like making the bed, cleaning, gardening. Kids can be rewarded for this to motivate and learn the about responsibility.
• Schedule screen time
Parents need to set limits on screen time, it’s important to schedule screen time strategically and effectively. Let the Kids understand it is the privilege rather than a right
• Use Parental Controls
Children often have access to multiple devices. Make sure to install parental controls. They are available on most major internet-enabled devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets and TV and gaming systems. Parental controls help reduce the risk of your child viewing inappropriate content on the web. In addition to setting parental controls, it’s important to monitor your child’s internet activity and use age-appropriate settings on devices.
• Discuss Why Limiting Screen Time
It is always important to discuss kids why you are limiting the screen time, make them aware about the negative impacts of screens.