Nowadays, all over the world, children also use smartphones. Children and teenagers pursue different goals by using these phones; Some stay in touch with their friends for hours, others spend their time with various games, and others use the Internet to learn more. The beneficial uses of smartphones are a matter that cannot be debated, but continuous use also has harmful effects on children. In the following, we mention five advantages and 6 disadvantages of smartphones for children.
The harm of smartphones for children.
It’s a good idea that smartphones make children more fun, and you can use this opportunity to your advantage, but be sure that this use is increasing daily and will lead to a series of negative consequences. The 6 essential disadvantages of smartphones for children and the adverse effects of their continuous use include the following.
Decreased level of attention.
Continuous and long-term use of smartphones distracts children and causes disturbances in their ability to concentrate. Children who spend most of their time with smartphones do not have enough concentration, and their attention level is low. As a result, they face learning disorders, one of the consequences of reducing academic success.
Of course, we should remember that the reason for these problems is the excessive use of smartphones, not the possession of smartphones. Correct and adequate use of these phones not only does no harm to children but also has advantages for them.
Significant reduction in social interactions.
The harm of the smartphone for children and its adverse effects on social skills show themselves when the child is disconnected from real life and all his time is devoted to the smartphone and its games. Children who do not communicate with their living environment or interact with the people in this environment try to find the answer to all their social needs in the virtual space.
For example, a child achieves a respectable “title” by passing a stage of a game. But he can earn the same respect in real relationships with his friends. Children should understand that titles in cyberspace have no meaning in real life. Skills such as respectful behavior, loving behavior, participation, and communication should replace these titles. With these skills, children can earn real respect. Parents’ guidance and encouragement are efficient for children to understand these skills’ importance better.
Creating unhealthy emotions.
We all know that children have more robust imaginations than adults and are, therefore, more vulnerable to the content they are exposed to.
For children who cannot tell the difference between real and imaginary elements, playing a scary game can have unpleasant results; Fear of being alone, having nightmares, and fear of going to the bathroom alone.
Also, a violent game can turn these children into aggressive children. Parents should provide games with appropriate content for children to prevent them from developing unhealthy emotions.
Creating problems for physical health.
The adverse effects and harm of the continuous use of smartphones for children are not limited to causing mental and psychological disorders and have harmful physical effects. Watching the phone screen too much and sitting in the wrong position for a long time can cause physical problems. For example:
- Visual disorders
- Pain in the neck
- Disorders of the musculoskeletal system
- Numbness of hand, arm, and fingers
On the other hand, children are at an age where they need some physical activities such as running, walking, and jumping to develop their muscles better. Children entertained with smartphones are deprived of active games, Lively games that improve children’s growth. As a result, another negative effect of the continuous use of smartphones is preventing optimal physical development. In addition, these children cannot burn enough calories, so they are more prone to obesity.
The adverse effects of the continuous use of smartphones on children’s physical health is an issue that cannot be denied; Parents should be more careful and try to minimize these harmful effects.
Reduction of sleep time and quality.
Some adults suffer from sleep disorders. This disturbing experience is not limited to adults; children also experience these disorders. Taking care of children when using smartphones is not limited to monitoring what they do and the spaces they enter but also managing the duration of their use.
If children are given the freedom to use smartphones, it usually results in nothing but their addiction. They can quickly get addicted to their favorite programs and games. The most significant negative effect of the continuous use of smartphones is the occurrence of sleep disorders, especially the reduction of sleep time and quality in children. One of the reasons for the importance of this issue is its negative impact on children’s health and their other daily activities, such as education. Specific bedtime is an essential issue that parents should maintain order by warning and encouraging.
Internet harassment, abuse, and security risks.
So far, we have talked about overuse and its harmful effects. But among the disadvantages of smartphones for children, hidden threats are not related to the excessive use of these phones. An area where awareness of external threats is necessary is internet connectivity.
Children enter the virtual space not only out of curiosity but for some of their favorite functions; an internet connection is necessary. Online games and social networks can provide conditions for children to be harassed. Some people are present in cyberspace with the wrong goals. These people may contact children for abuse or fraud. For example, fraudsters want to take advantage of children’s simplicity and obtain personal information about the child or his family.
The benefits of smartphones for children.
These days, smartphones are easily accessible to children. Smartphones and using the facilities that technology provides us, without a doubt, have benefits. The only thing that should be mentioned about smartphones and their use by children is that they should use them fully controlled. Below are some of the advantages of smartphones for children.
American Cornell University conducted scientific research on children’s IQ in 9 schools with different races and social groups. According to this study, which was conducted on almost 9 thousand students, the IQ scores of the current generation are higher than the previous generation.
Experts attribute this effect directly to technology. The increase in the number of technological products in children’s lives has made these tools available to children as an exercise to solve more complex problems. The positive effects of technology on a child’s development, including increasing IQ and improving learning skills, are just some of the many benefits of the correct use of technology.
Of course, all these benefits are possible with the conscious use of technology. On the other hand, it should be remembered that excessive stimulation of children’s brains with new tools leads to distraction. The task of ensuring the safety of the Internet for children is mainly the parents’ responsibility.
In short, if the daily use of new devices is under parental control, technology is recommended for children. Otherwise, it can be harmful.
Developing mental skills with educational materials.
Brain exercises for children are limited to their tools and equipment, so they usually have to do the same exercises repeatedly. But now there are many more opportunities for children.
The positive effects of technology on early childhood education can be very beneficial for their development. New educational methods, such as games and programs that improve cognitive skills, are some examples of these benefits.
Today, memory games for kids who want to improve their memory, attention games for kids who want to improve their attention, visual games for kids who want to improve their visual skills, and more are readily available. Therefore, safe Internet use for children can be helpful by using appropriate programs and increasing their brain skills and abilities.
Programs that teach foreign languages, advise on society and ethics, games and programs that practice math operations with children, and similar programs that inform children through gamification are always accessible to children despite technology.
Of course, parental supervision plays a vital role in the programs selected for children. Children may not anticipate some possible dangers. We must remember to guide children to know whether software and games are helpful or harmful so that we can only benefit from the positive effects of technology on children.
Strengthen learning skills.
“Teaching how to learn” is a very important skill. Thanks to the Internet, there is a library with infinite books on various subjects in every home. Children can easily research the topics they have questions or are curious about. As a result, they constantly learn, and research and education become a part of their daily life.
Finally, is technology good or bad for children? As we mentioned above, these days, instrumental programs and games have been designed for children that improve their creativity. Therefore, the main question should not be whether technology is good or bad. Everything depends on how to use it and how much technology is used.
Creative children are more successful in adapting to the changing world. Likewise, they can more easily find new solutions to new problems. Increasing problem-solving skills in childhood allows them to overcome obstacles more easily in their future life.
Control of children by parents in emergencies.
Technology can sometimes be a lifesaver for kids. Children should be able to contact you in an emergency, even if they are not old enough to use a cell phone. Simple communication devices like smartwatches are a healthy way to meet this need.
Smartwatches have different features and can be a good gift for children. For example, you can save numbers where your child can call you in certain situations. You can also eliminate the child’s risk of communicating with people he does not know.
In schools, children are taught which numbers to call in an emergency. You can add ambulance and fire service numbers to their contact list.
Technology has many positive and negative aspects for both children and adults. Whether we benefit or suffer from these new technologies depends entirely on how we use these tools. Children are no exception to this rule. If they have access to technology and related tools under the supervision of their parents, they can benefit from its many benefits and avoid its harm. By controlling children, you can minimize the disadvantages of smartphones in their development.
What are some of the disadvantages of excessive smartphone use for children?
The article lists several disadvantages, including decreased attention levels, reduced social interactions, creation of unhealthy emotions, physical health problems, reduction of sleep time and quality, and exposure to internet harassment, abuse, and security risks.
What are some physical health problems that can result from excessive smartphone use?
The article mentions visual disorders, neck pain, musculoskeletal system disorders, and numbness of the hand, arm, and fingers. It also notes that children who are too absorbed in their smartphones may not get enough physical activity, which can hinder their physical development and increase their risk of obesity.
How can smartphones benefit children?
The article suggests that smartphones can increase intelligence, develop mental skills with educational materials, strengthen learning skills, enhance problem-solving skills, and provide a means for parents to contact their children in emergencies.
What role do parents play in children’s use of smartphones?
The article emphasizes that parental supervision is crucial in both selecting appropriate programs and games for children and in managing the duration of their smartphone use. Parents are also responsible for ensuring the safety of the internet for their children.
How can smartphones contribute to children’s intelligence and learning skills?
According to a study conducted by American Cornell University, the increase in the number of technological products in children’s lives has made these tools available to children as an exercise to solve more complex problems. This has led to an increase in IQ scores and improved learning skills.
What are some ways that smartphones can be used to develop children’s mental skills?
The article mentions that there are many programs and games available that can improve cognitive skills, such as memory games, attention games, and visual games. There are also programs that teach foreign languages, advise on society and ethics, and practice math operations with children.
How can smartphones help children in emergencies?
The article suggests that simple communication devices like smartwatches can be a healthy way for children to contact their parents in an emergency. Parents can save numbers where their child can call in certain situations, and also add ambulance and fire service numbers to their contact list.