There are concerns about cognitive and social habits of children changing as a result of early access to technology. These concerns are not misplaced. The child is getting exposed to addictive social media and inappropriate content.
A recent study on the impact of growing up with smartphones confirmed the disadvantage of an early digital use. The findings concluded that delaying ownership of such a device could result in better mental health.
Pertinently, a study was conducted on “Effects (Physical, Behavioral and Psycho-Social) of using Mobile Phones and other devices with internet accessibility by children ”. As per the study, 23.80% of children use smartphones while they are in bed, before going to sleep, which increases with age, and 37.15% of children always or frequently experience reduced levels of concentration due to smartphone use.
Together with the increase in smartphones and the internet in recent years, there is a rise in reports that teenagers struggle with issues of mental health and concentration on studies.
Teens who are glued to digital devices, researches have shown, may neglect their personal hygiene and daily responsibilities, such as homework and chores, in favour of spending time online.
There are numerous benefits of Smartphones. Literally they bring the world to the hands of the user. In the present-day era, survival without a smartphone seems improbable. At the same time, the Smartphone’s have emerged as one of the biggest threats to privacy, tracking and disclosing personal data to technological giants, which always want to cash in on the information for earnings. Smart phones use more battery and sometimes people are unable to use their phones to make calls during emergencies, thereby defeating the original purpose of mobile phones.
According to the government, its policies are aimed at ensuring an Open, Safe and Trusted and Accountable Internet for its users. With the expansion of the Internet and more and more Indians coming online, the potential for children being exposed to information not meant for them has grown. The government says it is cognizant of the same and the need to have in place appropriate methods to protect and limit involvement of minors.
While laws need to be implemented in earnest, issues about excess use of smartphones need the intervention of all sections of society including parents, teachers, academia, and others.
Understanding the true extent and the mechanics of the problem is also essential.