The Problem With Kids and Smartphones
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of modern life, and it's not uncommon for kids to start using them at a young age. According to a survey, 35.6% of children use mobile devices for at least one to two hours daily. And 15.5% of children use mobile for more than four hours daily. Moreover, research on parents with children eight or younger shows that 97% had smartphones, while 75% had tablets at home. Of course, when there is technology in the house, children will always use it. While smartphones can be a useful tool for communication and education, they also come with a number of potential problems that parents should be aware of.
One of the biggest problems with kids and smartphones is the potential for addiction. Many kids become so reliant on their phones that they can't go without them for even a few hours, leading to constant use and possibly even withdrawal symptoms when they are taken away. This can lead to problems with socialization, as kids may prioritize their phone over in-person interactions with friends and family.
Sleep can also be affected. A child around 6 to 13 years requires 9 to 11 hours of sleep, while kids between 14 and 17 need at least 8 to 10 hours of peaceful sleep. They need a good night’s sleep for intellectual, emotional, and physical growth. Sadly, research indicates that the number of sleep-deprived children is increasing. When children use mobile phones near bedtime, the screen lights suppress the melatonin production in your body, hormones responsible for making you sleep. So, when they get to bed, they find it hard to fall asleep, and often it takes hours to get into a deep sleep. As a result, Teens find it hard even to get seven hours of sleep every night.
Another problem is the potential for cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment. Kids may be more likely to be targeted by bullies or predators on social media or other online platforms, and they may not know how to protect themselves or seek help when needed.
Finally, there are concerns about the impact of screens on kids' mental health. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to problems such as sleep disruption, anxiety, and depression. It can also contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, leading to problems with physical health.
Overall, it's important for parents to carefully consider the role of smartphones in their kids' lives and set clear boundaries and guidelines for use. This may include setting time limits, monitoring activity, and teaching kids about online safety and responsible use.