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How Smartphones Affect the Emotional Stability of Children

Smartphones is use as a distraction for children from having trantums / Photo by Stanislav Komogorov via 123RF

 

The current generation experienced a lot of benefits after the technology became more prevalent and more wide-spread. Every teenager and even children as young as 7 years old has a smartphone on their palms and mostly, they spend their time watching videos on the internet or some are just browsing through the social media and updates their status. Sometimes, parents should be put into blame since they choose to give tablets or smartphones to their children just to distract them away from having tantrums and being whiny.

However, this high tech distraction could backfire to them and have repercussions to their children’s health. There are also parents who worry about how much time their kids are spending in front of screens. New research suggests that when children at risk of mental health problems spend a lot of time on smartphones or other digital technology, they’re more at risk of attention and disruptive behavior issues. In a recent post by Time, younger people who spend most of their time have the tendency to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety, unlike those young people who spend less in front of their phone screens.

Studies have shown that 56 percent of children between the ages of 10 to 13 own a smartphone. While that fact alone may come as a shock, it is estimated that 25 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 have a smartphone. Kids who also spend more time on screens report more time on screens to report more difficulty falling asleep, a harder time staying asleep and more depressive symptoms. Researchers also observed that reactions to four screen-based activities such as social messaging, web surfing, TV/movies, and gaming.

The Dark Side of Technology

Independent posted on their web post that one hour of spending in front of their screen monitors could result in them to lessen their eagerness to learn, and it could also affect their emotional health. The study was conducted by San Diego State University and they found out that children who are exposed with their smartphones are most likely to throw tantrums and usually short-tempered children. Screen time takes away from learning and physically exploring the world through play and interactions. It can be noted that doctors and educators are worried how the overexposure of touch-screen technology can impact in the brain development.

Unfortunately, Mental Floss also reported that the current generation of smartphones has a distinctive and addictive quality that entices more people to continually use it and spend their time with it. The radiation from cell phones has long been a primary fear of how smartphones can affect a brain. However, the radiation theory hasn’t been proven and many professionals claim cellphones do not expose us to enough radiation to cause harm. This could give a little relief, but it also appears that the radio frequencies emitted from a smartphone might actually harm a developing brain.

Also, providing smartphones for young people is costly for parents. From data packages to cellular services, in-app purchases to online gaming and cell phone accessories to music download could cost a lot for a parent. Which is why it is advisable for parents to provide an alternative distraction that doesn’t involve high tech gadgets and costly software updates. Smartphones present a huge distraction in classrooms, where teachers are forced to compete for students’ attention. Most teachers ask their classes to put phones away or set them to “silent”, but students are inevitably tempted to look at them.

The Good Side of Smartphones

Every dark cloud has a supple silver lining. Young people today represent one of the most educated, least violent, and most socially connected generations the world has seen. Scientists have uncovered new evidence that today’s teenagers are able to adapt to their environment faster than people in their 20s and 30s. Their neurological agility which many attributes to the heavy use of technology, including smartphones is helping researchers to identify mental illnesses while they’re still in their infancy.

The latest smartphones also provide the ability to connect with friends from all over the world. It enables the person to be face to face with them any time through the use of Facetime. Facebook and Snapchat keep the people to stay communicate with the people who are close with them and making their relationships to become stronger even they are a thousand miles apart.

Today’s school curriculum is also adapting to the latest technology by using a tablet or computer to complete the assignment at school or the homework. Students are required to research a topic or complete online modules for their courses. With constant use of a smartphone, students are also able to access their online modules easily making the knowledge and information to flow freely. The child’s curiosity is endless and the internet is a great tool in finding answers to their questions. The internet acts like a gateway that lets the child enter and access all the information and data that he needs to grow and to learn even though they are outside the confinements of their schools and universities. It is a great advancement for any person since it will help them to become smarter and more aware of the world.

 

Smartphones keeps children from falling asleep / Photo by Rafael Ben-Ari via 123RF

 

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