POST TIME: 10 October, 2021 12:40:18 AM
Parents need to be aware of children's addiction to mobile
The addiction to smart phones not only puts children at health risk but also push them towards other risks. Children are wasting their golden days and getting lazy due to being busy with mobile all time. They are becoming distracted from physical exercise and sports due to excessive reliance on mobiles.
Majhar Mannan

Parents need to be aware of children's addiction to mobile

In this age of globalization, technology is now at hand and mobile is in every home. Although mobile is a much needed medium of communication, it has now become an addiction for many, especially children. Children are becoming addicted to this mobile phone instead of sports which is a terrible phenomenon for coming days. Smart phones are in hands of children today but very few people know how harmful it is for them. Educational institutions have been closed for a long time due to covid-19 virus and parents have handed over mobile, laptops and computers to their children.

There was a time when children used to spend their sweet times through sports and at the same time they used to spend time watching cartoons on TV but today they are very busy with smart phones. Since the school is closed, children have to join online classes and they have to rely on smart phones. This regular online class has made children more addicted to mobile. Nowadays children try to find all their entertainment on mobile. Ophthalmologists say that more and more children are coming to the doctors with their eye problems. Doctors say that the most common eye problems that children face are watery eyes, eye irritation, poor eyesight and itchy eyes. Doctors also say that the main reason behind the eye problems of children is the excessive addiction to smart phones.

The World Health Organization has a guideline that no digital device, mobile, laptop or other phones should be within the reach of children under one year. For 2 to 5 year old children, one hour of mobile usage per day can be given. But no one is following the guidelines of the World Health Organization. This addiction to smart phones not only puts children at health risk but also push them towards other risks. Children are wasting their golden days and getting lazy due to being busy with mobile all time. They are becoming distracted from physical exercise and sports due to excessive reliance on mobiles. As a result, physical and mental obesity is slowly increasing. There are various kinds of moral slips including psychological problems among them. They do not even learn the manners they need to learn to grow beautifully because of extra mobile reliance. Through these mobiles they come in contact with such things that do not really match with their growing culture at all.

In this age of the digital revolution, it's time for the children to draw the line between the real world and the virtual world. Children are now so addicted to smart phones that they get angry or behave negatively if their mobile phones are taken away from them. The trend of family ties has changed today due to the extra dominance of smart phones. The indiscriminate use of smart phones has engulfed the minds and natural spontaneity  of the children and this situation is undoubtedly horrible. Children may learn something new using technology but they are losing a lot of valuable things from their lives. The amount of damage is much higher than their receipt on mobile phones. Children's over addiction to smart phones is silently destroying their social skills. Even in terms of language skills, they are lagging behind day by day.

The question of child safety is very important and sensitive in the use of technology and smart phones. Especially when children use the internet, they may come across various types of nude scenes or something bad and it can have a devastating effect on their minds. Mobile phones have been prohibited in many educational institutions to reduce children's addiction to mobile phones. Indeed, addiction to smart phones is like drug addiction. It sharply destroys children's natural curiosity and inner spirit of work. It increases the risk of heart attack and weakens the nerves. It raises blood pressure, disrupts sleep and impedes brain development. It irritates the mood and gradually weakens the hearing power. Even its overuse can lead to brain cancer.

According to UNICEF, one out of three internet users in the world is a child, and everyday 175000 children are entering the internet world anew. 25 percent of Facebook users are under ten years of age. 90 percent of users are between the ages of 18 to 29. 92 percent of American children and adolescents enter online everyday. Children's addiction to mobile phones has increased such a level that 1 out of 5 children wakes up late at night to see if any new message has arrived. In Bangladesh 4 percent of 15 to 19 year old children use internet regularly. According to specialist doctors, children's addiction to mobile phones causes autism, depression, mood swings and suicidal tendencies in children. Even while playing mobile games, they are often the victims of cyber bullying. Mobile addiction acts like a silent killer that destroys children's intellectual power. Mobile phones are now on the first list of toys for 90 percent of the country's children.

As children spend most of their time on mobile, their brains are becoming one-sided. According to US based study, 70 out of every 100 children under the age of 12 use mobile phones regularly. This mobile addiction has become a major obstacles in the way of natural development of children. Children are truly deprived of the opportunity to enjoy the sweet and golden days of childhood in the midst of nature. The children who are supposed to wander in the midst of the infinite beauty of nature, but today they are losing their dreamy days by getting stuck on the mobile screens.

Parents need to play a more effective role in freeing their children from this addiction. Guardians should not indulge their children as an additional expression of love and emotion. Children do not have the ability to understand the harmful aspects of mobile, so parents have to play a significant and fruitful role. It is the responsibilities of the parents to create a congenial atmosphere and sports opportunities for the children. Counselling can also be arranged for the children in each school regarding this. In affluent families, there is a tendency to hand over expensive smart phones to children which is considered as a fashion of smartness. Many guardians think that their children are getting smart by using mobile phones but this is their complete misconception. Mobile is a necessary device at present but for children it is more addictive than necessary.

It is time to build a silent movement in every home to bring children out of this addiction. If parents fail, they will soon have to pay a heavy price. Everyone should be careful so that the temporary happiness of the children does not lead to a big disaster. It may not be entirely possible to keep children away from mobile phones, but it is important to keep a tight rein. In this case, extra indulgence of parents is never desirable. 

The writer is Assistant Professor,B A F Shaheen College, Kurmitola
Dhaka Cantonment.