by The Welthi Bureau 13th June, 2019
A months-old-baby, crying uncontrollably, becomes quiet in a jiffy with its mother flashing the smart phone. This is one of the utility values of the latest phones, but there are doubts if a smart phone is the right solution to keep children calm and prevent them from disturbing the parents busy with their work.
A study done in Canada with 2,400 families suggests that among preschoolers, spending two or more hours on screens a day is linked to clinically significant behavioural problems.
When compared with children who had less than 30 minutes per day of screen time, those who were exposed to more than two hours of screen time were five times more prone to suffer from behavioural problems such as inattention and over seven times more likely to be affected with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Digital experts say that using tech devices is a form of “digital drug” and that is the reason kids become silent when smart phones/ TVs/ gaming consoles are used. Brain imaging research shows screen technologies and cocaine affect our brain’s frontal cortex in a similar manner.
According to the American Optometric Association, children increasingly learn how to use technology before they can talk, walk or read, risking serious consequences to the development of young eyes.
Digitisation has helped in integrating many functions, and made use of many things redundant.
The increasing disconnect with nature could also be one of the reasons for your kid to be moody, crazy and lazy.
1. Screen time disrupts sleep
As light from screen devices mimics daytime, it suppresses production of melatonin, a sleep signal released by darkness.A few minutes of screen stimulation can delay the release of melatonin by several hours.
2. Screen time affects release of feel-good chemical
Children are “hooked” to electronics, and gaming releases so much dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical, thaton a brain scanlooks the same as cocaine use. However, when the reward pathways are overused, they become less sensitive, needing more stimulation to experience pleasure. Dopamine is also critical for focus and motivation. Even small changes in dopamine sensitivity can affect how good a child feels and functions.
3. Screen time induces stress reactions
Stress produces changes in brain chemistry and hormones that can increase irritability. The chronic stress hormone, cortisol, seems to be both a cause and an effect of depression, creating a vicious cycle. The hyperarousal and addiction pathways suppress that area in the brain where mood regulation actually takes place.
4. Screen time fractures attention, overloads sensory system and depletes mental reserves
Psychologists say what is often behind explosive and aggressive behaviour is poor focus.When attention is affected, the ability to process one’s internal and external environment also suffers, and little demands become big ones. High visual content and cognitive input depletes mental energy and thus, screen time contributes to low reserves. The depleted reserves can be temporarily boosted by becoming angry, and so meltdowns become a mechanism to cope.
5. Screentime reduces physical activity levels and exposure to “green time.”
There is research showing that time spent outdoors, especially amidst nature, can restore attention, reduce stress and aggression. When more time is spent on electronic gadgets, exposure to “green time” that could enhance mood is affected.
Restricting the use of smart phones might sound next to impossible. Hence, it is suggested that the screen time is cut down to make a child become calm, strong and happy. Avoid using gadgets for longer periods of time, as it could lead to addiction. The best way to deal with the problem is to use the TV, laptop, smart phones, etc., in moderation
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