Smartphones make up a Dull Mind: How Parental Smartphone Use Affects Children's Psychology
At least once in our lifetime, we have come across those parents, whose child was found screaming for attention while they were too busy fixed on their smartphones. The impact of smartphones is such that an hour without it makes life harder and monotonous. It plays an indispensable part of the daily life, to the extent that everyone from toddlers to the elderly has experienced the smartphone syndrome. Due to the effects of technology, gadgets are becoming cheaper and more accessible, so that electronics like smartphones, tablets, and computers no longer remain in the exclusive club of the rich. However, too much of technology has invaded our lifestyles and affected us, mentally, physically as well as psychologically. The class which is most affected by technology are none other than the children.
Scientifically speaking, the technological effect on children can go either way: they may be immensely good, providing motor skills and quick thinking, but constant exposure to them can be detrimental. Because the impact of smartphones has shown no signs of stopping, good parenting is a must when it comes to controlling the usage of such devices.
Social Life, but just on the Internet:
Child psychologists are concerned, and for a good reason too, for the impact of smartphones on a child’s social skill is far greater than we can comprehend. They confirm that excessive smartphone usage by the parents for regular interaction cause children to compete with the smartphone. Young children are impressed into thinking that a screen to face communication that their parents engage in their daily life is just as good and satisfying as a face to face interaction, which in turn can make them anti-social with stunted emotional growth. While it may not seem like a big deal while reaching out for the phone during a child’s narration of a funny classroom interaction, the effect on children’s social skills due to this is still massive.
A Weak Bond with Children, a Stronger with the Phone:
Smartphones allow multitasking. With so much to do, it is easy to get distracted from family issues, from issues concerning your children, from proper emotional reaction to them. Always staying in touch with work can retune your emotions to the tone of the emails you received; a bad email can result in a fight between the child and the parent, whereas a good one results in a calmer house. Always being concerned about the work and bringing it home can have a negative impact on young children in the home. While independence is a part of functioning properly in the real world, the negative impact of smartphones can be hard to combat when the parent has a better relationship with their phone than with the children.
A Blow to Self-esteem:
The constant slew of selfies and the belief that approval can be counted in the number of ‘likes’ on social media by the parents give their own children a false impression of the real world, and it develops poor self-esteem. Young children end up believing that the higher numbers of likes on their parent’s pictures are a form of validation from people. They develop a sense of approval based on other people’s judgment, which is unhealthy and a sign of low confidence. It also might affect their notions of friendship and beauty, for they believe what they see online, and form opinions watching their parents react to online information. Children learn from their parents, so it is their duty to deter the negative effects of technology on children.
Danger Lurks, Even on the Internet:
Parents who surf the internet frequently allow children to surf the net as much as they want to. They do not feel the need to navigate and monitor their child’s involvement in the internet, even on the same phone. Children may end up surfing the seedier sides of the internet without knowledge or share their parent’s bank account details logged into the phone to complete strangers. They might also get bullied online, or digitally abused by paedophiles. Parents who don’t have a lot of free time for their children might end up completely unaware of the difficult problems, emotional or otherwise, of their children, and by the time they do, it might be too late.
We must move with the world around us, with the generations that follow us. Being a part of the internet generation is a good thing, for it provides an endless scope of success and unlimited source of knowledge. But we must also take care of the negative impact of smartphones, tablets, and computers, and guide our children to their correct usage.