Gadgets and health issues

Umesh Sharma
Many school students who own electronic gadgets spend most of their time on it, as a result, the academic achievement and health status of a child is affected as he is too dependent on electronic gadgets.
In the 21st century, we can see technology has been an integral part of our lives; it definitely plays an important role in our day to day life. Technology has drastically increased at a fast pace developing new gadgets frequently. From a young age to old age, we see everyone using electronic gadgets, it might be TVs, smart phones, laptops, tablets, and so on. Technology has replaced a human life in various ways including studying. Though electronic gadgets have made learning concepts easier by providing interactive videos, graphical interpretation and more but they have adversely affected kid’s life. The young generation gets manipulated easily with upcoming trending gadgets. If electronic gadgets are used in a limit then it has fewer effects on humankind. Effects of electronic gadgets on students are-
Generally, we see kids replicating what they see or hear. Electronic gadgets like TVs, mobiles, laptops show various kinds of entertainment shows and much other violent stuff. Even kids involve themselves in surfing unwanted things, chatting and much more. These can result in a huge impact on a kid’s life. Students are so much addicted to mobiles and laptops that they spend whole night playing games, surfing, chatting, and so on, this can be dangerous. Parents have to educate children on how to use gadgets wisely. Moreover, the rays emitted by screens lead to loss of vision. It can cause the problem in the retina and there can be temporary vision loss. Young kids don’t show interest in playing outdoor games as they are stuck onto the mobiles and tablets. Along with this, kids tend to eat a lot of junk food without conscious of the amount of intake. This can lead to obesity. They don’t realize that at an early stage but they might have to face hurdles in life. Now everything is dependent on the students themselves, whether they develop poor education habits and lazy attitude or learn useful stuff available. Moreover, it also makes student forget their basic learning, they totally depend on the internet instead of books and take assistance from their teachers. Most of them misspell words because they use spell checkers. Laptop computers can aggravate things because the monitor and keyboard are so close. Users either lift their shoulders to type, or hunch their shoulders to see. Dry eyes, a burning sensation, problems focusing… these are symptoms of eye strain that all device users commonly face.
Steps to overcome your addiction
Consider what are the electronic devices that you are addicted to? Before you can quit utilizing any electronic device, it is vital that you identify what electronic device you are using the most and why? Understand what that addiction is doing to your life. When you can find out the electronic device that you need to quit utilizing, you ought to consider how the gadget has affected your life. Creating a list encourages you to understand the time that you have spent on electronic gadgets. This enables you to acknowledge how much time and energy you have wasted due to the electronic devices. Fix your limits, you can cut off an electronic gadget completely, but at some point, we got to use them in our daily life. Hence only use them when they are really needed. Set some ground rules, you can decide your limits based on the time you use on respective devices. Use the devices for finishing the task for which you had to use the device and as soon as the work is done, close the device instead of using it for recreational and other works. The most important thing of all is to follow the plan set by the above rules. Do not let the temptations weaken you. Try to avoid unnecessary usage whenever possible. In case of situations where you need to use the electronic devices, set a timer or stop the clock to keep a track of time.
Some recommendations
Turn electronic devices off at least one hour before bedtime to improve a student’s ability to fall asleep, and help them sleep longer. This can help improve students’ daily health and, subsequently, their learning. Administer a 20-20-20 rule to break up unavoidable and prolonged periods of screen engagement. Advising students to look away from screens a maximum of every 20 minutes and looking 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This can allow a shift in focus and allow the muscles around the eyes to be exercised. Ensure a “one and two foot rule” for smart phones to be 30 cm and computer monitors/tablet screens to be between 50-60 cm away from the head. The eyes can be strained from focusing on objects less than 30cm away. Placement of mobile devices should be around eye level when reading/viewing to avoid low gaze angles which can impact on neck and head posture. Provide a screen intensity scale for students to showcase the different intensities of electronics during their screen-based learning activities. The more intensity, the more regular breaks are required. Replace the term “seated games” in the guidelines with “passive games”. There are some seated games that could be healthy for students. This includes active cycling games that may help meet recommended activity guidelines. There are other areas of electronic media use that are important to consider, this includes using glasses designed to protect eyes from screen-based blue light and the importance of physically connecting with other people and nature. Engagement with nature has been shown to develop restorative benefits including reduced stress, increased attention span and overall well-being.
(The author is working as Chief Coordinator DPS Jammu)