The millennium generation has never known a world without the internet, social media networks, and smart mobile phones. They, as well as the world around them, have become too dependent on technology, especially smartphones. Living life through a smart screen today, primarily revolves around apps, games, likes, comments, and messaging on social media networks. Neglecting live interactions can have a negative effect on them, resulting in shyness, social detachment, and undeveloped social skills. Children will receive more pleasure from the digital world, and will never fully approve of reality, develop relationships, or keep steady jobs.
Obsession or Addiction?
The obsession with smartphones borders on addiction. Most kids who use their smartphones wake up, spend the day, and go to night with the gadget by their side. It is closely linked with Internet Use Disorder, where kids who suffer from it experience withdrawal, and cannot function in the real world. And since smartphones allow unlimited mobile internet access, they are the things children become dependent on for information, communication, social interaction, and even emotional support. Try and take your kids’ smartphone away from them, if they close up, start resorting to aggressive behavior, or even suffer an emotional breakdown, they are likely addicted to their smartphone.
Too Much Stimulation
Another problem of the modern generation is over-stimulation they encounter. Through media, society, and especially their smartphone, they are bombed with content on a giant scale. Be it videos, pictures, music, or news, they have yet to develop the ability to process overwhelming amounts of new information. Not only that, but they are encouraged to share information themselves, which can lead to online child-abuse. So, it is of utmost importance to monitor time, locations, and content children are exposed to on their smartphones. Many of it is not appropriate for them.
The Visual Generation
Selfies have become a trend that border on delusion, and another indicator of over-use of smartphones. Based on the looking-glass effect, they allow children to present themselves the way they want to be accepted. Once children experience the reality of things, and a completely different picture, they will be exposed, and excluded from society. Basing their self-image on their exterior and imaginary self, they will lose self-importance, lower their confidence, and have unreal expectations from social interactions.
Set a Good Example
To help children who are smartphone-obsessed, set a good example by taking time off from smartphone usage yourself. When children see you leaving the phone, turning your focus on what’s going on around you they will do the same. You might also give them more of your time and attention, by playing, talking with them, or enjoying outside activities. Not only will it improve the bond you share, but it will also improve their self-worth, and reflect the importance of face-to-face interaction.
Child Care Helps
Enrolling kids into educational child care centres can help parents battle the smartphone obsession. With structured learning programs taught by qualified professionals, children will be surrounded by healthy stimulation, and won’t have time to use their smartphones. Through games, and interactions with other children, kids can also develop the right communications and social skills, and learn to enjoy reality rather than viewing life through a smart screen.
Set Rules of Engagement
Setting rules can also be a great way to reduce kids’ smartphone use. Create “phone free zones” around the house. The entire family can use their phone in designated areas like the living room, while bathrooms, bedrooms, and the dining room should be off-limits. Set time restrictions, and allow smart phone usage only during certain hours of the day, making sure no smartphones are available at least an hour before bedtime. And for safety reasons, teach them never to use their phone while walking.
Although there are advantages of smartphones in your child’s life, there are also hidden dangers from over-use. Be aware of their activity, set a time limit, and focus their attention on other aspects of life. Ultimately, by doing that, they will enjoy reality, and use the digital world as way to improve it.