The time-restrain, the lifestyle change and never-ending responsibilities, almost every parent will admit that they are guilty of handing their child, smartphones. Working parents often tired after long days work hand their little ones the bright, rectangle box to keep them entertained. The bigger concern however, is that these supposed distractions are affecting the child’s development, both of the mind and body.
The type of content your child might encounter is just another concern for parents. The bigger risk is the excessive screen time that your child is exposed to is damaging him in ways!
Parents with kids below the age of two are often advised to restrict their child from smartphones, tablets or even television etc. This is because a child’s brain is still developing. The excessive amount of screen time causes gray matter atrophy, compromising white matter integrity, reducing cortical thickness. It hence, impairs the cognitive functioning and debilitating dopamine function. A lot of the damage occurs in the frontal lobe part of the brain, which undergoes the most drastic changes in the early teen years to mid-twenties, and can affect everything from a person’s relationship building skills to their overall sense of well-being.
Hence, the younger the child is exposed to technology the more adverse the effects are. Technology such as computers, smart phones and television also encourages children to be sedentary. As such, when they get home from school, they deprive themselves of going outside and playing with other kids. Infact, it is of no surprise, that child obesity rates have risen drastically over the past decades.
The blue light that is emitted from these screens also cause eye strain, irritation and headaches. Hormones such as melatonin which regulates the sleep-wake cycle also gets affected leading the child improper sleep and insomnia in such a tender age.
Smartphone Addiction has also been known to increase the risk of ADHD syndrome or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity. And this disorder is seen quickly escalating the ladder of a child’s development, worldwide. This leads to huge dependency on the internet which is affecting their sociological changes too. A child will depend on internet both for educational and leisurely purposes rather than hitting the library or the park. They start spending less time interacting face to face with either friends or adults. And this has numbered their ability to read human emotions. Their social life gets hampered for the negative turn.
Teens also succumb to the peer pressure of being available on social media 24 hours a day and seven days a week attributing to low self-esteem, poor sleep quality, anxiety and depression. Children often learn to vie the superficial lives on the internet and they often end up being discontented playing a huge toll on the parent-child relationship.
Technology has drastically changed the world. Not only children are at risk, the risk is further going with adults. Set limits on technology usage and screen-time and be aware of the potential negative consequences of overuse.