Growing up, many of us had computers and PlayStations (PS 2 being the most popular when I was growing up). We did play games, but the time to play was limited.

I, personally, was allowed one hour a day till I was in class three. That one hour was the most important time of the day. I had to behave in school, be nice to my siblings, and do my homework. My parents would evaluate my performance, and then they’d allow or deny access to said technology for entertainment.

As I watch my cousins now, the youngest of whom is four; they spend all day on their laptops/ iPads/ TV. I watch them, remembering how I impatiently waited for that one hour. To be honest, it’s not a matter of resources; it’s about creating a sense of value for expensive items.

When I was their age, I used to live to play outside with my friends, not on Xbox and computers. Today, parents just let children have these gadgets so they can have some peace. I’m not saying this is a bad thing; it’s just that we should prioritize physical activities/interaction to that of a virtual one.

Instead of doing this:

children sitting on a bench and using phone

I was doing this:

a child is playing

Harmful Effects

Research shows that children exposed early to technology tend to go out less often and may develop some/all of these qualities:

  • The impedance of brain growth, especially for infants and children under 2.
  • Delayed development of muscles due to lack of movement.
  • Obesity also due to lack of movement.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Mental illness.
  • Aggression and impulsive behavior.
  • Digital dementia due to the dependence of machine memory instead of their own.
  • Addiction to tech.
  • Radiation emission, because every device does radiate tiny quantities, which are harmful only if devices are kept near round the clock.

There is an account Zone’in Programs on twitter which deals with child tech overuse. Check them out here.

THE BIG DEBATE

There is a lot of controversy about children and tech. There are case studies in favour of both sides, the benefits and the harmful effects of children using electronic devices. Some studies show that children using tech from early age show increase in their logic level and problem-solving skills. However, numerous studies show the harmful effects of early tech exposure outweigh the benefits.

The ideal exposure to children under 2 years is none, from 2-5 years is 1 hour and till 10 is 2 hours. After that, the time may increase but only under necessity.