Friday, August 9, 2013

Are mobile phones and tablets ruining your child’s development?

Young children-smartphone-tablet 

Today, it’s not uncommon to see almost every child or young adult (and not so young ones) hooked to smartphones or tablets, completely oblivious to their surroundings. Gayatri Ayyer, a counselling psychologist analyses the effects of gadgets on children. 
I have lived in India, USA and Singapore and have seen people all around completely hooked to their electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets and laptops without any awareness of their surroundings. This is the current sad picture around the world, children and adults spending more time on gadgets rather than with their friends and families.

Too much info, too soon?
When the internet was introduced to the public around 10 years ago, it was considered a way that the world will come closer – opening multiple opportunities for people to learn, form relationships and in general create a better connected, more informed world. Though the internet still retains its good qualities, with the increasing use of gadgets in children’s lives in addition to no controls on internet usage, the net is becoming the root cause of a lot of behavioural, emotional and psychological problems in children. It has become a vehicle which allows children to download age-inappropriate games, spend a lot of time on social networking sites, even allows them access to pornography and this led them to forgoing spending on things like school work or playing outdoors.

Information age to blame for rising ADHD cases?
According to researchers, there has been an increase in the rate of diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. One of the causes for this is the escalation in the useage of gadgets in children shortly before bedtime, resulting in delay in time to go to sleep, and shorter sleep time. Another cause could be that since these children don’t spend time outdoors, they’re not being exposed to enough sunlight which can lead to various complications.
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