Screen Dependency is Disorder is Real and it Damages Your Child’s Brain
With the advancement of technology, it is impossible for everyone to move without a smart phone or a tab or so on. Kids these days are largely found using smart phones all the time. The unhealthy amount of time that children spend staring at screens is leading to an addiction, which soon turns to a dependency. This addiction can lead to structural changes in the neural structures of children’s brains as they are more susceptible to these things.
There are other terms for Screen Dependency Disorder, which are:
-Mobile Phone Addiction
-Compulsive internet use
-Online Game Addiction
-Pathological Video Game Use
Psychologist Dr. Aric Sagman, in his paper, writes, “‘Addiction’ is a term increasingly used to describe the growing number of children engaging in a variety of different screen activities in a dependent, problematic manner.”
7 symptoms of a Screen Dependency Disorder
Following is a list of symptoms, which, if shown by your child, they might have Screen Dependency Disorder.
3.Loss of outdoor interests
5.Continuation despite negative consequences
6.Use to escape adverse moods
7.Lying about use
How many kids have Screen Dependency Disorder?
A study published in 2015 in Behavioural Sciences states that about 12% of the adolescent gamer population of the United States of America are pathological video gamers. Playing video games might be very different from doing drugs alright, but they can induce the above listed symptoms.
Doctors say that this addiction stems from playing too many video games, spending an unregulated amount of time on social media and other things of the like. Studies show that this has led to children barely getting two to three hours of sleep every night and in some cases the sleep is not a complete REM sleep either.
Too much screen time can lead to problems like Insomnia, back pain, vision issues, loneliness, and feelings of guilt and so on. Ultimately, it all leads to brain damage in the long run.
5 tips to curb this disorder
1.For children younger than 18 months, avoid using screens for everything other than video calling. If you must, expose them to only high quality programming.
2.For children between 2 to 5 years, limit usage. Try spending their screen time with them, to make them understand what is happening and also to keep them aware of the world around them
3.For children 6 and older, allot different slots of screen time throughout the day to make sure they don’t feel too restricted but make sure they get enough sleep and do not miss out on physical activity at any cost. If they are physically active, they will have less energy and hence will spend lesser time in front of screens.
4.Have rules. Make it a point that they participate in family discussions instead of spending too much time in front of a screen.
5.Talk to them about these problems. Make them realise that they have responsibilities too.