“Screen internet addiction is linked with structural and functional changes in brain regions concerning emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.”
A study published by Kaiser Family Foundation shows that eight to eighteen year olds spends an average 7½ hours with media such as television, computers, cell phones and iPad. With this statistic of media multitasking the total daily exposure leads to a shocking 10 hours per day.
Currently there are nearly as many cell phone subscriptions (6.8billion) as there are people (7 billion) in the world and all this happened in a little more than a period of 20 years. In 2000 there were roughly 5000 million cell phones in the world.
After ten years the number is 5 billion and most importantly these devices are not only for chatting with friends but they take pictures, send e-mails, browse the web and play movies. They use them for texting too, 8 percent of all fifteen to eighteen year olds have their own cell phone and their average texting rate is 8000 text per month.
With this rapidly growing tendency screen addiction is going insane. Even kids under eight years grab their parent’s cellphones and iPad to entertain themselves whereas their mental health demands observation of the world around, discovering new things and making new relations.
Parents often be thankful to technology for ways to keep calm their disruptive children while they are busy in their screen activities, but they seem to be ignorant of the possible harm from excessive time spent in the child’s virtual world.
Dr. Steiner-Adair said, “Children have to know that life is fine off the screen. It’s interesting and good to be curious about other people, to learn how to listen. It teaches them social and emotional intelligence, which is critical for success in life.”
Developing bad habit
Parents can’t keep an eye all day long on their children and they can’t dictate them what to watch and what to not on their personal devices, so they are free with their own choices and often take negative effect of what they see on their mobiles and tablets. Teenagers who spend more time watching violent videos and playing violent games turn out to be more aggressive and fight lovers.
Less ability to focus
Although screen addictive children might be expert in multitasking, but they are expected to lose the ability to focus on what is most important. They avoid observation and deep thinking which leads to problem solving and very significant to be successful.
Along with medical concerns there could also be physical consequences too. Children may have pain in their hands and fingers, they may also feel a constant burden on their neck and back. The constant use of eyes on screen causes narrowed blood vessels and effect on eye sight. Despite of all these affects people consider best entertainment is giant screens in their living rooms. Or they consider more the positive side of the technology to stay updated and get the latest they can get because it’s far more important to go with the flow and stick to the latest technology.
Kristen advises: “There are pros and cons to using electronic devices, but as with everything – moderation and rules are key. Some doctors recommend games using a stylus to help develop fine motor skills, but for a maximum of 30 minutes per day.”
There are also many positive aspects of using small screens:
Children learn more rapidly with their smart screens by discovering new apps every time. Even children under 2 years when they are not able to do big things they can use their fingers to swipe and chose correct letters or may have fun with coloring.
Improved fine motor skills
Toddlers are still developing the muscle strength to manipulate crayons, paintbrushes and pencils with ease. Tablet technology allows fine motor skills to develop minus the usual frustration.
IPad technology is attractive and motivating. With modern technology the smart screens are used for therapy sessions and allow children with special needs to interact with the community using a socially acceptable device. There are many apps that increase language skills and help building the vocabulary.
Modernization and Creativity
People always stay updated with the latest trends and news and they keep an eye on what’s happening around in the world. Also through new blogs and web surfing creativity is encouraged because people share their ideas and get to know about others.
Multimedia technology maximizes the chances for learning. Discovering the latest inventions and updates motivates for always trying something new and innovative.
Smart screens are best for staying up to date with the society. Children also need internet and devices for completing their home assignments.Like many issues parents face, there are pros and cons for small screens in hands. The issue is not whether we should or should not allow a young generation access to mobile technologies. Self-confidence and competency with technology is important for children. Rather the issue is how parents can foster an eagerness for knowledge and balance the role small screens have in this process.