Smartphone Addiction and its Influence on Kids’ Mental Development

Is your kid always glued to the smartphone? Do they check the phone for notification or are always chatting with friends and family or busy playing mobile games? Do they get cranky when you do not give them phones? If your answers are yes, then your kid is probably addicted to smartphones. Smartphone addiction is a common problem, and it is recognized amongst many children. It is affecting their eye sights, mental growth and to some extent, physical growth too!

Reasons why children are addicted to smartphones

Let us see the major impacts of mobile and its effect on kids:

Pleasure: It has been found that humans find happiness whenever they receive a message or notification. These are a sort of rewards give them comfort as dopamine is released in the brain. The happier they feel with such rewards, the more they want to use it

It has become a part of their bodies: You must have observed how anxious a child feels if he cannot find his phone! This is because the phone has become an extended self without which children feel lost. Mobile addiction is affecting kids mental health and building up anxiety in children too.

Need to socialize: With so much hype to social media, children want to socialize all the time. They enjoy posting pictures, likes, and comments and also connect to people through various social media platforms via chats and groups.

Games and other apps:Smartphones offer many quite addictive gaming apps. Children enjoy playing games for long hours as the graphics are attractive and keep them busy and glued to the screen.

Cons of using Smartphones

Mobile Addiction not only leads to anxiety, depression, but also disturbed sleep, damage eyes and the list goes on. However, here are the top 3 cons of using smartphones by the children:

Eyesight problems: With smaller screen size just near to the eyes, can damage the eyesight.

Disturbed sleep: Children may have insomnia or take a long time to fall asleep. Using smartphones just before sleeping can cause disturbing sleep as the blue light spectrum suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep producing hormone. The electromagnetic fields disturb sleep and also affect mental peace. This is what makes people get up from the sleep when they keep the phones nearby.

Mental health problems: Increase in usage of screen activities can lead to mental health problems. Children who are into virtual life communication suffer from anxiety and depression.

How fast smartphones are affecting children’s mental health?

With the increasing demand of smartphones among children, there is a fear that smartphones can hamper the kids’ mental health by a great extent. Harmful radiation from the phone and overexposure to the screen can affect brain development. It affects the learning ability of the children as the circuits in the brain are neglected due to exposure of screen time. Mobile radiation and its effectsalong with overexposure to the screen can affect brain development.It also affects children’s potential to communicate and interact in the real world. They become anxious when they don’t get to use cell phones. In some cases, children get depressed and become detached from the real world. Smartphones are acting faster on children’s mental ability to grow and learn, and hence parents must ensure to limit the usage of the smartphones and keep them occupied in the real world by planning some fun activities.

5 Ways to make your child free from Phone addiction

Below listed are some prominent methods you can apply to make children free from this addiction:

Set boundaries: Parents should set some strict and clear limitations on the children to put in limit the usage of smartphones.

Children learn from parents: Parents should themselves restrict themselves by not using smartphones at a specific family time and weekend outings or family get-together.

Create NO-SMARTPHONE zones: Try to use phones only in the living room and make sure, not to use mobile phones in the kitchen and the sleeping room premises.

Install specialized parenting apps: - Monitor your child’s device usage and block inappropriate content by using parental control software.

Spend real-time with children: Interact with your kids during fun activities or introduce an active family time. Please help them by letting them enjoy the original world, to get along without a cell phone and treasure the bliss of life.

Mobile addiction is one of the significant causes of eye damage, and its harmful radiation is significantly affecting the kids’ mental health. Hence, it is essential that parents must ensure that the screen time and mobile usage and access is balanced and monitored well between kids and mobile. This is to ensure that smartphones remain a boon in their overall growth and development.