Is it a problem if children use smartphones?

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The present age is called the golden age of information technology and communication. So denying its use by living in this age would feel like not getting your feet wet while swimming a pool. There is a special attraction of people all over the world towards technology, which may not be wrong to call it gadget love, smart-phones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras are attracting children as well as adults, its use is seen as a symbol of smartness by some. Nowadays, the biggest means of communication is mobile phone, people are so dependent on it that life is useless without mobile. And this is the mobile phone that many parents are giving to their children as a toy or hobby, smart-phone is now a child’s playmate.

While most parents are busy with work and business, the child spends time alone, so many parents hand over mobile, tab or TV to spend time. As long as there is a level of their digital entertainment, there is no problem, but if there is more than that, then there is danger.

When to realize that this use of technology is not a blessing for us but a curse:

  • If it is seen that the time of using TV or mobile of the child is gradually increasing.
  • They get angry or start behaving negatively when they snatch the mobile or tab from the child’s hand.
  • Not wanting to eat without TV, mobile or tab.
  • Before going anywhere, everyone wants to know if there is a TV or internet connection.
  • Discusses cartoons or games all the time.
  • Dropped attention to study, loss of interest.
  • Lying about watching TV or mobile.
  • Not finding pleasure in anything other than mobile or TV (reading books, playing sports, going for walks).
  • Panic when the battery is dying, decreased social interaction.

In addition to the above problems, other physical and mental problems (weight gain, vision loss, sleep problems, hyperactivity, depression, social fears, etc.) can occur. Many take refuge on the Internet to forget the problems of adolescence, the stress of school, the chaotic or harsh family environment. Parents often do not realize this addiction until there is a significant change in the child’s behavior.

In 2016, the Royal Society of Public Health conducted a study on 1,500 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years. As it turns out, Snapchat and Instagram cause the most humiliation and anxiety in their minds. 7 out of 10 people say they suffer from depression about their own bodies because of Instagram. Half of the 14- to 24-year-olds say Facebook has increased their anxiety and frustration. According to the International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine, one in eight Americans is addicted to technology.

Although there are no statistics or research in our country, looking around, it is understood that technology addiction is increasing day by day. Video game addiction is about to enter the list of ‘diseases’ identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Experts have identified the risk of addiction to electronic games as a gaming disorder, which is listed in the 11th edition of the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). From the above statistics it can be easily inferred that we need to know about the good aspects of technology as well as the bad aspects, we need to introduce other means of entertainment to children and teenagers otherwise various kinds of physical and mental problems may arise.

Written by Dr. Hosne Ara

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