By Jennifer Birch
In this age of digital convenience, it’s not surprising that the rate at which the younger demographic have access to these devices is alarmingly increasing.
Although many argue about its educational value and benefits to students, it’s common to see some parents concerned about the over explosion of these devices that can lead to corruption of their young ones’ minds.
What makes the situation more threatening is that too much time spent in mobile gaming, texting, and web browsing may induce potential pitfalls, which will meddle a child’s physical, social, and psychological upbringing.
That said, here are some perils to know before giving your kids their first mobile phones.
For many decades, health advocates raised the issue of microwave and radio frequency exposure from excessive mobile usage. An undeniable amount of studies has been done, saying that this may lead to a high risk of acoustic neuroma, or the tumor of the nerve that connects the brain to the ear. Meanwhile, some other studies have revealed the following risks:
Contrary to popular belief, mobile games are not the only reason why kids stay up late. The real reason can also come from the fact that smartphones are equipped with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These LEDs allow kids to use their handsets in a dim room, which interferes with the melatonin, the hormone responsible for kids’ natural sleep-wake cycle.
Fatigue and Eyesight Failure
Prolonged mobile usage leads to massive headaches, causing fatigue and eyesight failure. Since it’s physically exhausting to just sit and look at the screen for hours, it exposes children to unnatural brain stress, tiredness, and exhaustion. Meanwhile, using smartphones strains the sense of sight, as the eyes are forced to work harder than usual to focus on blown up texts.
Today, kids are more inclined to communicate with their gadgets, and take out the real essence of their natural interpersonal skill. Here’s what’s ahead of them if they continue:
Nowadays, smart devices have instilled a so-called “dependent behavior” among children, which induces low self-esteem. As opposed to peer-to-peer interaction, kids are inclined in using instant messaging applications to seek advice from their friends. In retrospect, they must be able to devise their own coping mechanism, to find that inner ability to practice making their decisions independently.
Cyberbullying has taken its toll in the lives of kids. This online mischief can be traced from the fact that texting can disseminate threatening messages, which take on different forms such as flaming, masquerading, exclusion, and outing. Thus, it’s best to instill good habits to prevent future cyber predators.
While most parents believe that smartphones are a good learning tool, it can’t be denied that mobile phones may inflict serious brain-inhibiting injuries. And it could affect the brain development of growing kids.
This takes care of children’s ability to retain data, such as important numbers, events, and critical dates like birthdays. With mobile devices readily available, the retention skills of the kids are not challenged, as everything is stored in the Phonebook and Reminder settings.
Indeed, the increased reliance of children to Google has made them poor and lazy thinkers. Ideally, cognitive development is only achieved if a child gets to experience physical activities, and this develops mental awareness, judgement, and reasoning. These are the most valued skills, which can’t be developed by any mobile application.
Be it in the classroom or simply at home, it has become almost impossible to pry children away from their mobile phones. Before you give your young ones first smartphone, proper behavior and upbringing must be instilled, which will ensure the long-term benefits, rather than the short-term effects.
Are your children masters of their own, or slaves of their gadgets?
About the Author
Jennifer Birch (pictured above) is a tech blogger devoted to writing about the endless potential of the youth and informing the world about education technology solutions for the young ones. She regularly writes for TechieDoodlers and can always be reached on Twitter at @WrittenByJenni.
Jennifer has written this article exclusively for RMN Kids site.