By Utkalika Das
The exposure of children to screen time has increased manifold with the beginning of the ‘virtual era’.
The concern is growing among parents with the big question – ‘How adversely can it impact the development of our children?’
Before we answer the above question, we need to know the characteristics of screen time:
- It presents enormous information in a short span of time. Screens provide an endless stream of novel and varied content that can be exciting and engaging for its users.
- It is rewarding as the pleasure it provides helps in the release of dopamine, the happy hormone. The brain’s pleasure centers are stimulated by the release of dopamine which can create a cycle of craving and reward-seeking.
- Young people who are still exploring their social identities get the feeling of being connected and belonging through social media and other online platforms.
- FOMO, the fear of missing out on important information compels people to check their devices constantly and contributes to screen-time addiction.
- Almost all screen-based technologies are designed to be highly engaging and addictive through constant notifications, endless scrolling, and features like autoplay.
The effects of screen time on children’s development have been a topic of debate and research for many years. While there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that screen time is inherently harmful to children’s development, research has shown that excessive screen time can have negative effects on children’s physical and mental health, as well as their cognitive and social development.
Some potential negative effects of excessive screen time on children’s development include:
- Physical health: Excessive screen time has been linked to a range of physical health problems in children, including obesity, bad posture, eye strain, and disruption in sleeping patterns.
- Mental health: According to News-medical.net, excessive screen time can lead to mental health problems in children, including depression, anxiety, and aggression.
- Cognitive development: Some studies have suggested that excessive screen time may interfere with children’s cognitive development, including language and communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity.
- Social development: Excessive screen time can also have a negative impact on children’s social development, as it may limit their opportunities to interact with others and develop important social skills.
Are all the screen times harmful?
Some types of screen time may be more beneficial than others.
- Educational programs and games can help children learn and develop cognitive skills
- Video chats with family members can provide opportunities for social interaction
Overall, it’s important for parents to be aware of the potential risks of excessive screen time and to set appropriate limits and guidelines for their children’s screen use. This may include the following:
- Limiting screen time
- Encouraging physical activity and outdoor play
- Promoting other activities like reading, creative play, and social interaction
What are some of the best schools in Gurgaon doing to address this issue?
The best schools in Gurgaon have understood the negative impact of increased screen time on children’s development as soon as they opened offline. The following are some of the many steps taken by the schools to address this issue.
- Harnessing the power of hands-on activities
- Encouraging listening through podcasts and audiobooks
- Not getting blinded by technology and exploring innovative activities to involve children
- Reiterating the power of handwriting
With hundreds of examples around, it is clear that everything in the world has pros and cons. At Vega Schools’, we have concluded that we need to adopt the novelty of things and yet adapt to their ways wisely.