Smart phones have become an integral part of our lives. This habit has become a serious problem. Today technology has kept us so busy that we do not even realize that we are not busy but alone. We started using mobile phones to keep in touch with our close relatives. The landline phone had to be kept in one place to talk. Gradually we got out of the clutches of the landline and mobiles were always able to take us to the office, the market, which made daily life easier. . With the advancement of technology, it is not known when mobile became a means of communication with the proliferation of new apps on cameras, audio players, social media and what else happened. Smartphones have taken over our time from waking up in the morning to going to bed. Smartphone addiction is affecting all age groups, with children and young people being the most affected. The growing habit of smart phones among children has made childhood a slave to technology. This habit is proving to be more dangerous than all drugs. Nowadays a child learns to walk later, using a smartphone first. Children are no longer interested in playing on their own, but prefer to sit in one place and look at their mobile phones with their heads bowed. Smartphone addiction is having a negative impact on personal, psychological, social and health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued some guidelines regarding the amount of time children spend on the screen (of any electronic device). Accordingly, children under one year of age should be kept away from the screen; Only two to four year olds should be allowed to watch the screen for one hour. According to these guidelines, children under the age of five should be given more time for sitting, better sleep and active play to keep them healthy. According to a study by Pediatrics, an international research journal, 44% of children under the age of one use a smartphone every day. By the age of two, 77% of children become addicted. This includes not just rich children, but children from all walks of life. These figures are not only alarming but also noteworthy. After all, where do these children learn or see? Why are children getting used to it? What could be the cause? The answer to the first question seems to me that children see us, that is, parents, what my parents see in this smartphone all day long. That is, the parents are the ones who teach. Being a small family, parents themselves teach their child that there is everything in it that can make you happy, but this happiness will one day become a cause of sorrow for parents when the child gives up everything and becomes addicted to mobile. Is done. If we talk about reasons, the biggest reason is lack of time with parents. That’s why they like to put children on mobile. Due to the lack of joint families, working parents have to arrange for a woman to take care of their children, so the parents also give her a smartphone so that if she does not feel like it, a mobile phone can be given to her. When parents take their children to a public place, if the child wants to play, the parents make him a puppet of modern culture and ask him to sit in one place with his mobile in hand. There are also many parents who feel that the child eats quickly after seeing the phone, so they make the child mentally hollow to fill his stomach. Parents are proud that our child can use a smartphone and is very smart. Digital childhood has made children mentally weak. This is leading to many mental illnesses in children, which can lead to further mental and physical disabilities. You can see for yourself that children who use smartphones too much get irritable and angry by nature. They lose interest in food and drink, which can lead to a variety of diseases.
Looking at the phone with the head bowed all day also causes damage to the body structure. Eyesight is adversely affected. Children’s creativity is also affected. Children become obese, which is the root cause of many diseases. With the use of smart phones, children are also breaking down socially. There was a time when children used to play in groups, but since the increase in incidents like rape, child abduction in the society, parents consider their children safe inside the house. Nowadays, when parents take their children to a relationship, adults are talking to each other and children and young people are using mobile phones, which raises questions about the future generations. Earlier, a child would fall silent in his mother’s lap, but nowadays when a child cries, he becomes silent by looking at the screen of his mobile phone. Mothers of children have also become phones. There is a need to think about the fact that when the youth became addicted to drugs, drug de-addiction centers were opened. But remember no one should open a mobile rescue center. That is why parents need to be aware. Getting kids free from this smartphone is a very difficult task, but its use can be reduced to some extent. The first step in overcoming this problem is for parents to break free from it. Reduce the use of mobile phones in front of children. Buy the same toys for the children keeping in mind their interests. Spend time with them yourself. Even if you are sitting next to them, keep talking to them. Most importantly, be the kind of kid you want to be. If the child is addicted to mobile phones too much, don’t lose the mobile phone from the child, it will increase his interest, he will be stubborn. Engage children with books, buy interesting picture books for young children. An important aspect is to let the children get bored. Children never get tired of looking at the screen. If children do not come together, they will not be able to be creative. So when children get bored, they will think, find something to play around, and then their creativity will develop. Also keep in mind that the digital age is ahead. Teach them to describe it in a limited way, but it is our responsibility to protect children from getting used to the screen.
( The author is a Retired Principal of Government Girls Senior Secondary School MHR Malout Punjab. Views are his own)