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The correlation between kids and smartphones

April 10, 2015 0 Comments

brianna_article_What-to-Know-About-Smartphones-and-Children_20150128_LC

Smartphones have become a staple within modern day society. However, with new technology comes new concerns. There are worries over the effect that smartphones have on society as a whole, impeding our social capabilities and changing how we function. The evolution of the cellphone is still so new that studies on their effects on human beings are few and far between.

One particular area of concern parents may want to investigate more is how cellphone and Internet use affect children and teens. This is for a good reason, too, as at least 56 percent of children between the ages of 10 to 13 own a smartphone. Children and teens are still developing mentally, emotionally and physically; they are quite impressionable and vulnerable to different experiences that will affect their development.

At this point, professionals recognize that smartphones can and will hinder a child’s cognitive development, but they can also be beneficial. The key is moderation. Children and teens primarily gain knowledge through face-to-face interactions and smartphones hinder those interactions, depleting their social skills. Screen time takes away from children’s time for learning and physically exploring the world around them. Studies have found that smartphones and the Internet can also affect communication skills along with emotional development in human beings.

A study that examined how Internet use and technology affected the brain found that individuals who are less tech-savvy, after a few days of instruction, exhibited brain functions that were the same as a group of tech-savvy individuals. Technology and screen time rewired their brains. Increased screen time delays the circuits of the brain that control the more traditional learning methods such as reading, writing and communication. This was only occurring in adults so imagine how technology could affect a developing child. Professionals warn that if children rely solely on electronics for communication, it may weaken their people skills and cause them to be detached from the feelings of others.

This is not to say that smartphones are not useful tools. Technology can provide children with the ability to make faster decisions, multitask, develop peripheral vision and more. The studies on how cellphones and Internet use affect the developing brain are still in progress, so parents should be advised to keep their children’s use of cellphones to a minimum. It is also advised that no child under the age of two should be allowed to use an electronic device. For children three and older, screen time should be limited to two hours a day maximum. Additionally, parents are encouraged to play and interact with their children, make sure that their phones don’t interrupt their face-to-face time and demonstrate proper smartphone use.

Smartphones have quickly become an accepted part of daily life without giving much thought to the effects they may have on the people who use them. It is best if parents and their teens are careful about their cellphone use so technology doesn’t cause a rift among their relationships.

For some teens, moderation is not possible because they are addicted. For cases such as these, it is a good idea to find treatment, please call 866-300-0616 for more information.

Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer

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