Excessive use of technology in children

By  Arooj Fatima

In early days means of communication were very limited because of lack of technology. One has to send letters and then to wait for many days for a reply but with the passage of time technology was advanced and the world became a global village. Now it is very easy to communicate, in fact today, the world is overrun by technologies. The most common technologies include: Video games, Smart phones, Television, Computers, Tablets, Internet, social networks, chatting services, calculators and much more These all devices were introduced to make our life easier and convenient  but these technologies also bring some unfortunate consequences for our children as we all know that the excessive use of anything can be harmful. Now-a-days, children, teenagers, and adults, in short everyone is addictive of these electronic devices. And the use of social media, online video gaming etc in children has dramatically increased within 20 years.

According a Kaiser Foundation study conducted in 2010, children between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of 7 hours 38 minutes a day with digital media. When the use of more than one digital device at a time is taken into account, they spend more than 10-1/2 hours a day with digital technologies. These devices have many negative effects on children. Children are mesmerized by all these devices and it seems that they are always lost in the virtual world or busy in playing games. This excessive use of technology is likely to interfere in the adolescent’s academics, participation in sports, socializing, and even on time spent with family and friends, a survey by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) has found.

A BBC survey found that more than three-quarters of 10- to 12-year-olds have social media accounts. A report by the media watchdog Ofcom found that more than half of children aged as young as three and four use a tablet while one in seven has their own device. Internet technology and video games have become addictive to so many children. Many kids have become victims of internet predators and others have become video game addicts, which leaves them with no time to interact with other children and this has resulted in increased cases of loneliness and depression among children. 

The child who excessively uses technology may become isolated and fail to develop normal communication skills such as conversational skills, listening and making eye contact. They can also be more impulsive, moody and have difficulty in maintaining focus. They may experience social anxiety because of under developed social skills.

One study showed that children who spent more time playing video games and watching television had a higher risk for obesity, sleeping problems, and stomach issues and too much TV time may also hinder language acquisition. Television watching is also not a creative activity and can result in a lack of imagination.

One of the main reasons of excessive use of technology in children is that all these devices are very mesmerizing and in start parents gives their children these devices so that they can work peacefully but after sometime children become addictive to these devices. The other reason is that parents themselves are always busy in using different kind of electronic devices and they don’t spends enough time with their children so the need of the hour is that parents should spend more time with their children and they should also keep proper check and balance and they should not allow to use any kind of electronic devices more then 1 or 2 hours a day. Rather than they should tell their children the benefits of playing sports and doing other outdoor activities.  

Published in Young Nation Magazine on September 30, 2017

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