Smartphones Stealing Childhood

Umar Afzal Dar
In today’s digital age, smartphones have become ubiquitous and are an integral part of our lives. While they offer numerous benefits, there is growing concern among experts that smartphones are having a negative impact on children’s development.
Childhood is the period of life that encompasses the years between infancy and adolescence. It is a time of rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional development, during which children acquire fundamental skills and knowledge that form the basis for their future growth and success.
Childhood is marked by play, exploration, and curiosity, as children discover the world around them through their senses and experiences. It is a time when imaginations run wild, and creativity flourishes as children engage in imaginative play and storytelling.
But this childhood didn’t remain same as it used to be. In our times we were more lively than today’s kids who remain glued to the mobile screens. One of the most significant concerns raised by experts is the impact of smartphones on children’s mental health. According to a study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health, social media use and smartphone dependence are linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and poor sleep quality in children. The study also found that children who spent more than two hours a day on social media were more likely to experience poor mental health than those who spent less time online.
Last week while attending a party, there were more than 100 people and few kids with their parents. The hall was having a pin drop silence, as the kids were busy in watching the cartoons over internet. What if this would have been in our days and we would have certainly a gala time enjoying in playing different physical games and laughing out to the fullest.
Some of the content over the internet particularly over YouTube, Facebook is not watchable at all. We have to take extra care as parents/guardians what our children are watching. These days different mobile applications have parental control and we must certainly use them in order to restrict the content our kids ought to avoid. Kids are so innocent that most of the things they watch have a direct impact on their lives.
I am recalling an article that was published in an international newspaper wherein they have interviewed a child about how he survived in the earthquake when the building collapsed due to earthquake shocks. The kid told that he had watched a cartoon over YouTube in which the cartoon took shelter beneath a table. The kid had replicated the same and he remained beneath a table and he survived. After this article, I got very anxious that what our kids watch when they take our mobile phones, the comedy having no meaning at all. If your kid is stubborn in watching the content not worthwhile, stop him now or you would have to see the repercussions later on.
The screen time for us and our kids should be very minimal. If you yourself remained stuck to the mobile, you won’t control your children from having the same habit. You ought to talk to your kids, play with them, and make them laugh. Don’t allow your kids to open your social media accounts at all.
Another issue with smartphones is their effect on children’s physical health. The more time children spend using smartphones, the less time they spend engaging in physical activities such as playing sports or running around outside. This sedentary lifestyle can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.. Playing in bright sunshine can also help in the strength of bones and other vitamins necessary for us. While going in the local playground, our children get socialized and this helps them to sustain in the society as lively being rather than a introvert who does n’t like to talk to anyone. Furthermore, smartphones can also affect children’s cognitive development. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children who spent more time on screens scored lower on tests assessing cognitive and language skills. The study suggests that excessive screen time may interfere with the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for children’s academic success.
In short, we must not take away the childhood of our kids by keeping them locked inside homes and handover mobile phones at very early age. While smartphones offer many benefits, their negative impact on children’s development cannot be ignored. Experts have warned of the link between smartphones and poor mental health, physical health, cognitive development, and social development. Therefore, it is essential for parents to limit their children’s smartphone use and encourage them to engage in activities that promote healthy development. By doing so, we can help ensure that our children have a happy and healthy childhood. Childhood is a phase which children must enjoy to the fullest and we have to support our children in every possible way to make them enjoy the nature around us.