Childhood is one of the most crucial phases of life. Make sure they spend this in the “real world”. Children need humans, not screens.
Increasing screen time is detrimental not only for child’s mental health but also creates a significant impact on their physical health. Technology with time will only penetrate deeper into our life as we move towards digital India. But, its impact on future generations could be more adverse.
You might wonder, why? Technology has made our lives easy and will probably make it a lot easier in coming times. But, are we giving them the childhood they need? Let’s see in how many ways we are affecting their lives, knowingly or unknowingly.
How are we making children more vulnerable?
- The busy lifestyle of parents is one of the main reasons behind this. By no means, we want to convey that parents shouldn’t enjoy their lives the way they want. They are also human beings who would love doing things they cherish. But, the problem comes when we substitute ourselves with digital devices.
What do we do when we are busy? We give our mobile phones, tablets, or laptops to the kids to keep them engaged. That’s how we substitute our attention with digital gadgets. We can always look for other alternatives, but this proves to be the most common way to engage them.
- Then comes peer pressure. No matter what you do, they will always get influenced by their group when they are too young. We can’t trace their activities every time, but it is important to look at the behavioral changes. If they are reacting aggressively when you don’t give them digital devices then you must stay cautious.
Impact of excessive screen time:
- Insecurity: Excessive use of social media can result in insecurities. Children can’t recognize that whatever they see on social media is not a complete reality. Thus, they might end up developing insecurity. Childhood is the time when we can help them build confidence. And, the glamorous social media might take that away.
- Impacts on physical health: All of us are aware of the adverse impacts of prolonged sitting. Excessive use of digital gadgets will surely decrease their interest in physical activities. Teaching them various games would surely help you improve their health. Provide them options to keep them busy. A sedentary lifestyle will create long-term health problems. Make sure you engage them in physical activities.
- Impacts their mental health: Excessive use will slowly take their interest away from the real world. The virtual world can never substitute real-world experiences. Children will never know who’s on the other side and, anything that happens will impact their mental health. Thus, digital technology can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, disturbed sleeping patterns, and much more. The increasing incidence of cyberbullying is one of the most serious issues. Social media and these gadgets often act as an escape from reality. Thus people enjoy spending more time online.
- Impacts their social life: All of us have witnessed this in our lives. People spend time on their devices even when they are out with their friends. The same can impact the social life of children. Spending time in person can help them acquire good habits. They might end up losing their ability to understand other person’s emotions. Try building their genuine friend list than the virtual one.
- Gaming disorder: The emerging gaming disorder that sometimes involves money is more damaging to mental health. These games are one of the leading causes of suicide in some places. So, if you find your child ignoring the most important daily activities, then it’s a gaming disorder that needs immediate attention.
This excessive use of digital devices might not look like a big issue now. But can significantly impact their overall life. Engaging them in other activities, spending family time, playing games, etc., would improve their overall health and social lives. Look for better alternatives. Have a digital detox day with them.
In the next post, we will discuss some great alternatives to engage them. Stay tuned.
Create memories offline. 🙂