Smartphones have become a very important part of our lives. They’ve transformed our lives in so many ways that we can’t even count. However, like any technology smartphones also have their own downsides. And possibly the worst of those downsides is the impact of these devices on our children. The harmful effects of smartphones on children have been subjects of many studies, so it’s imperative to understand them if you’re the parent of a child. In this
essay, we’ll take a look at 5 major harmful impacts of smartphones on children. Let’s begin:
Harmful Effects of Smartphones on Children
Academic Performance and Hobbies
Just like adults kids also get addicted to their smartphones. In fact, kids get more addicted than adults. They chat, watch movies, play games and do a lot of other stuff on their smart devices. This leads to less time for studies, whose effect is seen on the academic performance of kids. Homework is often not done on time, due to which children are punished in schools.
Fearing punishment, they also get less and less interested in going to school. Exam preparation is also not done properly because of fatigue that comes from prolonged smartphone usage. As a result, academic grades suffer. Moreover, sometimes this addiction grows to a level that even hobbies once loved by the children are no longer paid any attention because of smartphones.
The health hazards of smartphone usage are already well documented. World Health Organization has classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to users. However, children are affected more from this radiation than adults. Their thin skin allows the body to absorb more radiation than the body of an adult. How much more? Twice more. This increased exposure to radiation increases the risk of cancer, non-malignant tumors and other health hazards in children.
Studies have also shown that smartphones are making children more aggressive. Today kids get annoyed, angry and frustrated more easily. They also don’t pay any heed to what someone is saying as they spend time with their smartphones. In some worst-case scenarios, they even stop interacting with family members altogether.
Brain Development in Babies
The first 3 years of a child’s life are considered very important for brain development by the scientists. Medical science suggests that the growth of brain during this early period becomes the foundation for all future learning potential. The brain forms neural pathways during this period by receiving information from the real world. However, if most of the information comes from screens and other virtual sources, it may hinder the development of
those pathways by overwhelming the brain with screen stimuli.
Relationship and Social Life
Relationships are usually kept on fingertips these days. Real-world interactions have decreased significantly and smartphones can be blamed to a certain extent. First of all, smartphones hamper the development process of the brain in babies so they can not empathize with others as they grow up. Then smartphones also become the points of connection with everyone, eliminating the need of real-world meetings in many cases. In difficult social situations (i.e. at a function where children don’t know people) they’re also used more by children to avoid looking awkward.
Smartphones affect the lives of children in a number of other ways as well, but these the biggest ones among them. Therefore, it’s imperative to limit the screen-time of our children if they have to be developed properly. While entirely eliminating smartphones from the lives of children is not possible (and not even a solution), we can certainly limit the amount of time that our kids spend with their phones. By providing incentives to use phones for a
limited amount of time we can limit the screen-time of our children more easily. And that’s what should be done by all parents in this digital age.