You think you are buying your kids technologies like mobile phones, iPods, iPads or tablets to help them in their education. This is, to an extent, right. As discoveries are made every day, it is good that you remain knowledgeable. Numerous activities, games, and apps are indeed very educational for kids as they get to learn a lot. But at what cost?
Short-Term Side Effects
When you use a mobile phone for a long time, what do you feel? Do you feel a painful sensation in your eyes? Do you feel that when you use your devices at night, you have trouble falling asleep? All these are the side effects of using smart devices.
Sometimes, it could happen that you enter your kid’s bedroom and see them aggressively tapping away on their iPads. If you tell them to put it down for a while, they show hostility toward you, refusing to do as you asked. This behavior is almost the same you might discover with a drug addict.
This is the reason why researchers, who have been studying the effects of mobile phones, are starting to call phones and video games digital heroin or electronic cocaine. The head of the US Navy addiction research, Dr. Andrew Doan, has even coined the term digital pharmakeia which is a Greek word for a drug.
Long-Term Side Effects
As it hasn’t been a very long time since these devices were developed, long-term side effects cannot be discussed. Illnesses like cancer might take decades to develop, so studies that are suggesting that mobile phone causes cancer cannot be adequately verified. That is not to say that many of the studies have put forth points that are very persuasive.
As horrifying as the physical side effects are, there are psychological effects that are even more disturbing, especially for kids as they are in their growing age where their personality is building.
There are games which require players to kill gruesomely to earn points or level up. The games even entail other wild and aggressive steps to be taken. This causes kids to think that aggression can be acceptable and that if they throw a temper tantrum, it isn’t that big of a deal. These negative things, at the age of 5 or 6, might not seem as dangerous, but these behaviors solidify and shape your kid’s personality in later years.
What to Do?
This problem, once built into your kid’s personality, might be difficult to shake off. But never fear; even though the cure isn’t here, some precautions can be taken to minimize the damage.
The main thing is to remember not to give your 5-year-old any digital devices. Make them play outdoor and indoor games and read books and spend some time with them so that they wouldn’t need these devices. For the kids who are already hooked, try to minimize their time on the devices and urge them to spend time with their parents and siblings instead.