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The Consequences of Microelectronic Gadgets and Screen Time on children

Rudra Dahal BSc, M.Ed (Health) २०७७ साउन ८ गते १६:४२ मा प्रकाशित
(Outdoor activities VS Screen use) Photo resource: Google

It is a fact that technology has made incredible progress in the 21st century. The use of modern technology has changed the world, making things both more relaxed and more complicated. Today almost everyone is equipped with some or the other forms of electronic gadgets. People use new technologies such as telephone, television, radio, Xbox, a stereo system, and an iPod with ever-increasing frequency. Access to electronic devices makes life easier in all sorts of ways.

On the other hand, these devices can have negative impacts on human health as well. ¬¬For instance, all electronic devices have radiation to some extent, which affects our delicate internal organs like the brain, nerves, eyes, and ears. According to the USA center for disease control and prevention, an average child spends almost 8 hours watching electronic screens. When their age advances, the rate of using electronic devices also extends up. There is an ongoing debate about the advantages and shortcomings of microchip technology use and screen time for children. In this article, I am writing about the adverse effects of using electronic devices and screen time on children.

1. Physical Health Issues: Increased time with electronic devices can lead to serious physical health concerns, including obesity, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that children who belong in this group become more sedentary and have less movement. They make poor food choices and tend to eat more. Lack of physical movement may impact on the brain development of children. Similarly, children may have bad posture, which affects their physique. The more exposure to screen time may cause vision and hearing problems as well.

2. Mental Health Concerns: Children using devices may become overstimulated and experience mood swings, high anxiety levels, and heightened irritability. They may also exhibit poor behaviors. As the device use time is expanded, the risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, and suicidality rate grows.

3. Sleeping Problems: Many parents are not aware of the connection between electronic device use and sleep disturbances in their children. Children who developed habits of using such devices before bedtime found it hard to fall asleep. The electronic devices emit a kind of blue light that tricks the brain to think that it is daytime. If the children are unable to sleep even for half an hour, their behavior is negatively impacted the next day.

4. Communication and Social Impact: The children who regularly use electronic devices for prolonged periods have significantly reduced communication among their parents and friends. Consequently, they become antisocial. Increased screen time reduces the quality of family time. Cyberbullying is another significant social issue with numerous long-term harmful effects among victims, such as anxiety, depression, strain, and suicidality.

5. Reduced Academic Successes: The children who spend an extended period to use electronic devices may have poor academic achievement. They have problems focusing on their educational activities and tend to spend more time on other activities like gaming or using different social media.

(Suggested Outdoor activities that diminish screen time for children) Photo resource: Google

Here are some strategies that can reduce the use of electronic devices and screen time for children, reducing the existence of above-quoted problems.

1. Make a schedule for the use of microelectronic devices for your children and monitor them regularly.
2. Provide opportunities for your children to do additional activities: playing with toys, coloring, painting, playing outdoors, socializing with friends and family, visiting the library, helping in the kitchen, grocery shopping, etc.
3. Sit with your children, monitor their work, and encourage them to engage in other activities.
4. Limit children’s access to electronic devices and lock them after use.
5. Educate your children about the adverse effects of using electronics appliances and encourage for short term use.
6. Be a role model for them, limit your use of electronic devices, especially in their presence.
7. Help your children to have other interests and support them to engage in those interests.
8. Discourage and limit the use of electronic devices before bedtime.
9. Teach your children to take a movement break to avoid long periods of sitting and help them to maintain proper posture when using electronic devices

To conclude, electronic devices make our lives easier, even though we must be aware of their proper use. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about the advantages and flaws of using electronic gadgets, screen time, and guide them accurately to prevent them from being addicted.