Pretty much everywhere you go in the modern world there is technology. Not to mention that many kids have smartphones and tablets that go most everywhere with them. Too much time spent with screens in front of you can have effects on anyone. It can have even more effects on kids though.
We are going to take a look at the effects that electronics have on kids and why it is important that we regulate their screen time.
Blue Light Sleep Issues
Technology that utilizes screens such as cellphones and tablets emits a blue light. The blue light is at a frequency that can disturb the brains desire to sleep. Many new devices, including computers have a feature that allows you to filter out these lights. It eliminates some of the unnatural light but does not completely remove it.
Beyond the blue light sleep issues, screen time tends to energize our mind, which can cause some trouble with sleep. You will also find that having a phone or other device in your child’s bedroom will keep them awake. Notifications, calls, and other alerts can easily wake a child from sleep.
The Development of Mental Health Issues
Screen time has been shown to be a contributing factor in the development of mental health issues. The more time that a child spends behind the phone, the more likely they are to develop conditions such as anxiety and depression or worsen other conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
More than the device itself, the content that children access through the internet can lead to mental health issues. Just about anything can be found on the internet, such as gore, sex, and violence. Sometimes you can even accidently stumble upon it. There is also plenty of content that could be viewed by children as discouraging to their health, both physical and mental.
The Social Aspect
Children tend to turn to the internet to be social. Whether its posting on social media or sending private messages. While you children are on social media there is no way for you to regulate what they do or what is said to them. It is very easy for anyone to do something on social media that will affect them for the rest of their life.
Cyberbullying is also a big concern when we let our children onto the internet. From people they know to complete strangers, children are often a target for being bullied on the internet in a wide variety of ways. This can lead to serious mental health conditions just like bullying in the physical world.
Physical Problems That Stem From Electronics
Those who use electronics a lot tend to spend less time moving around and being active. This can quickly lead to deterioration in physical health. Weight gain is the most common outward sign but reduced physical capability and reduced physical development are also caused by less active time.
While physical problems are a concern for adults, they can be a bigger concern for kids whose bodies are still developing and need physical activity to continue to develop fully.
Vision Problems Due To Electronics
Many people both young and old who spend too much time in front of their electronics tend to develop vision problems. They are too used to staring at a screen that is close up in their face. A condition has actually been found called Computer Vision Syndrome and it is used to describe the negative impact that screen time has on the eyes and vision. While dry eyes are the most common screen time related problem with vision, you children could also experience focus problems when moving between objects that are close and distant.
Addiction To Electronics
Some people laugh at the idea of becoming addicted to electronics but it is a very real condition. Most commonly people become addicted to their phones or other devices but it is also possible to become addicted to the internet. Moderating screen time can help to prevent addiction in teens and younger children who are more susceptible to the development of these disorders.
Internet and phone addiction have become so serious that specialized detox clinics have appeared around the world to help children and adults alike reduce their screen time and reestablish a healthy lifestyle.
Electronics are great tools in the modern world but many of us need to regulate our time in front of our devices. For kids this is even more important. Setting up positive habits starts young and can benefit our children throughout their life.