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Smart Phones and Children Part III

What I have found more interesting about this subject is that most parents reaching out to me are more for their children having smart phones. True, technology has done a lot to make our lives easier and more efficient however, shouldn’t parents be worried about the negative impact smart phones could have on their children’s growth and development?

Imafidon, Ashi and Arora take us through some of the negative effects smart phones have on our children. These include:

       1.They alter the parent-child relationship

Even while smartphones can be convenient, they alter the bonding that is supposed to exist between a parent and child. The connectivity attached with smartphone use cannot be the same as the genuine connection which the parent and child are meant to have. Children are still passing through a period of growth, and you need to establish your relationship with them. With smartphones, you have speed and instant answers available; yet this could lead to your kids making bad choices in the long run.

      2. They limit their creative minds

With easy access through a smartphone to a majority of their play, children now have a platform to be bombarded with various exciting games. These games limit their creativity and imaginations and slow their motor and optical sensory development.

  1. They cause them to get less sleep

A smartphone in the bedroom can bring about significantly less sleep, later bedtimes, and more fatigue. Your child needs to be getting plenty of sleep and have her/his brain rested for the next day’s activities. A smartphone certainly wouldn’t help to attain that.

  1. They don’t give children the time to reflect or learn about the consequences of their actions

Imagine a child having a conversation on a chat site and things go wrong. “I wish you lose your life” is uttered at her/him. Even perfectly nice children would spontaneously react by saying, “I wish you lose your life too.’” This happens because the child is not offered the opportunity to reflect on the impact and the negativity of their actions or what they say. With a smartphone, things happen fast.

     5.They impedes their ability to learn

According to researchers, a smartphone is detrimental to a child’s social-economic development as it diverts a child’s attention. According to the findings, the use of interactive screen time on such devices could also impair a child’s development of the skills needed for math and science.

Many children carry phones along with them to their schools. Chatting with friends, playing games, during school breaks or even in the class is increasing day by day. This results in children failing to pay attention in the class, missing out on important lessons, and consequently being clueless about studies and examinations.

 Smartphones not only distract children from studies but may also force them to resort to malpractices to score well in exams. Behaviors like using the inbuilt calculator in exams where it isn’t allowed, storing photographs or reference information to cheat in the examination not only affects academic performance but also results in a personality problem.

  1. They cause an addiction

It jeopardizes the child’s overall development. By engaging them in so many activities, a smartphone could become a source for an addiction. This kind of addiction engages their minds and captivates them for a long time, even to adulthood.

  1. They have a negative impact on your child’s mental health

According to experts, amongst the causes of depression and anorexia in children is the use of the smartphone and connection to the internet. Since through it children are bullied and often unsupervised, there is a negative impact on their mental health.

  1. They indirectly cause obesity

Too much time spent on smartphones also affects the physical health of your kids. With a smartphone, your child is subjected to remaining at a particular spot for hours. Such technology overuse is now a factor causing obesity.

  1. They cause behavioral problems

Spending more than two hours per day on a smartphone is enough to cause emotional and social problems. Accordingly, exposure to the games available on smartphone apps links children to an increased risk of attention problems.

  1. They desensitize children to violence

Through the smartphone, kids are exposed to violence in games and through cyber bullying on chat sites. This desensitizes children and prompts them to accept that violent behavior is simply a normal way to solve problems.

  1. They cause tumors

For quite some time, there has been extensive research in the field of understanding cell phone radiation effects on children. Since they are still in a stage where their body is undergoing changes and growth, the effects of mobile radiation on them could be different from those on adults.

Children that have a tendency to use phones for extended periods of time, keeping them close to their ears, have shown a higher chance of developing non-malignant tumors, especially in the regions of the ear and the brain. The bones, tissues, and protective linings for organs such as the brain, are yet very thin in the kids. Hence, these organs end up absorbing beyond 60% radiation that is emitted from the mobile phones. This has been classified by the World Health Organization as a “possible carcinogen” and carries a potential risk of cancer.

  1. They expose children to inappropriate media

Like any other gadget, the mobile phone is also a tool and can be used for the wrong purposes as well.  could come across inappropriate messages, images, or texts, shared by their friends or in the group, and further pass it on to others. They can find their way to pornography and get addicted to it at an early age, changing their perceptions about people. Exchanging images of their own irresponsibly can create a fiasco that can impact their lives for a long time.

 

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About Charlene Gail Taruwona

I am a columnist at ZimOnline Media Services. An energetic and self-motivated young woman with passion for my work and deeply committed to improving the lives of children and women using various community platforms. I mentor young girls and that fulfills me. I am also a motivational speaker who has been invited by various organizations and Institutions in Zimbabwe to do presentations on societal cohesion matters with particular focus on women and children's issues. I am Founding Director at Family Bonds Foundation... among other disciplines i am stakeholder to.