Nowadays the sight of a toddler holding a tablet and anxiously swiping the screen or an infant with a phone in his or her mouth is common in every household. Parents think a gadget pacifies an irritated child and later could be used as an educational tool. Though this is true to some extent, the negative effects gadgets have is alarming.
What we fail to understand is that gadgets are changing the nature of the childhood lifestyle and even replacing toys, playgrounds, storybooks, etc. Kids are addicted to gadgets and you would be surprised to know that they spend about 7 to 10 hours with their gadgets. The days are such that a kid knows each and everything about a gadget and we as adults fail in that matter.
Here are the negative effects you need to be aware of:
Effects Brain Development:
It is a proven fact that in a child’s life a lot of learning happens before the age of 5. Many researchers have said that a gadget is not at all necessary for a kid’s development. In fact, exposure to gadgets has been linked to Attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased the ability to self-regulation.
Obesity and Health issues:
As you all know, over the years the rate at which schools have come up increased exponentially. What we don’t see in most of those schools is a playground. Schools with big playground are the things of the past. So, the physical activity at school is very limited and to add to the negative effect of that, the moment kids come home they start using gadgets instead of playing or doing some physical activity.
The fun and benefits of playing outdoor games are not known to modern kids as they are immersed in the world of gadgets. The startling fact is that even parents fail to explain such benefits to their kids. This leads to obesity, delayed development, and unhealthy lifestyle.
Violent behaviour and Aggression:
Prolonged use of gadgets has an impact on a child’s well-being. Parents are noticing a drastic change in their child’s behavior. They tend to be more aggressive and disobey their elders. Sometimes kids accidentally click games which portray adult content, murder, torture and mutilation which effects their tender minds and only makes them more violent. Exposure to such content also affects their character.
Lack of adequate sleep time:
Children addicted to gadgets do not get enough rest as they don’t sleep well. A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy body. Since kids are allowed to use gadgets in their bedrooms and even during their bed time, they sleep too late and when they wake up, they seem to be grumpy and lazy because of lack of proper sleep. Lack of sleep not only affects a child’s development but also their overall performance.
Radiation and Mental Illness:
Children who spend more than two hours in front of a screen or staring at their gadgets are more likely to suffer from psychological difficulties and mental illness. The signs include Child depression, anxiety, lack of attention and problematic behavior. Mobile phones and other wireless devices are considered category 2B risk because of their radiation emission. This is a clear threat to children as they are getting exposed to radiation frequency which damages their health.
Improper Verbal and Written Skills:
It is only our assumption that TV programs are educational for kids when there is no such thing as educational TV for kids. kids don’t even have the ability to comprehend such programs. What it actually does is interfere with the “talk time” which should normally happen between parent and child, resulting in delayed language and verbal skills. Excess usage of gadgets also affects a child’s communication skills. Since they surround themselves with gadgets, communication with parents or others is very minimal.
Internet language which was invented for the sake of quick written communication spoils the written skills as it is void of proper grammar, sentence formation, punctuation. Proper English is not used while messaging since the only aim is to convey the meaning. Since internet language is used more and more because of its simplicity, the written skills that kids possess are bad.
Addiction and Tantrums:
One thing to keep in mind is never fed the whims and fancies of your children especially when it comes to gadgets. If you do so, they only get more addicted to gadgets. Never let children grow up attached to gadgets because they throw all kinds of tantrums if you take away the gadget from them. This will become a habit and they will be under the impression that once they throw a tantrum and keep repeating it, parents will return the gadget.
Poor and Damaged Eyesight:
The most common problem faced by children exposed to gadgets and computer is poor and damaged eyesight. Good eyesight depends on staring at things of varying distances. By staring at computer screen or gadgets for a very long time strains the eyes and develops eye problems. Children are also prone to “Cross-eye” problem by staring at computer or gadgets for a long time.
This is a modern world which sophisticated advancement in technology. In this technical era, though it is not possible to take away technology from a child’s life, parents must take the responsibility of protecting their kids and limit the use of gadgets. Parents must restrict a child from using the gadget for a prolonged time, instead encourage them to go out and play games which is more beneficial. Learn some stories for kids and share with them and interact as much as you can to avoid attaching to electronic gadgets.
Since parents are aware of the disadvantages of electronic gadgets they must supervise and regulate the use of gadgets by their kids. Use of technology for development at the right age must be encouraged but too much use of technology at a very early age will only delay a child’s learning abilities and put a strain on physical as well as psychological health.
This Blog post was written by my friend, thanks to him for sharing this useful article with us.