How the Pandemic Increased Children Phone and Gadget Usage: Technology has changed how various activities are carried out and has even influenced how people use smartphones. With so much dependence on the internet, smartphone usage has increased, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, where most people were forced to work online due to the lockdown measures.
This situation also affected children who relied more on smartphones and other gadgets to remain active. Therefore, EMF protection should be an element to consider in children because of the increased usage of such gadgets. This article will discuss the effects of the pandemic on children’s phones and gadget usage.
Pandemic Increased Children Phone and Gadget Usage :
When the pandemic proved challenging to control. The health departments issued guidelines, adhered to in a bid to curb its high spreading rates. One of the guidelines was limiting social gatherings, which resulted in the closure of all schools.
Teachers resolved to conduct studies online to ensure that children do not forget what they had learned before the pandemic, while some continued with the syllabus. Parents had to add digital gadgets to their homes to ensure that their children joined the remote learning.
Although the remote learning time differed from one school to the other. Some schools still used the normal school hours to study online, while some used about 2-3 hours of online study. As a result, most children exposed to more gadgets usage during pandemic compared to the time before the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, children between the age of 8 to 12 years old have an average screen time of 4.5 hours . Meanwhile those who are 13 to 18 years old spend an average of 6.5 hours in front of a screen.
The majority of the children who used phones and other gadgets to learn during this time were not spending too much time on the screens. As a result, they developed mental and physical health problems such as eyesight issues because of gazing too much on the screen.
The greatest impact of technology during the pandemic was children having too much time to stay connected with their friends and relatives through digital devices. Since they could not meet each other because of social distance issues, they instead used phones to call, text, and chat with their loved ones.
As a result, they could improve their emotional and mental health by speaking out about their concerns and fears and sharing information through these platforms. However, younger children might have been affected because they could not understand why it was impossible to visit their friends and relatives while texting, chatting, or calling them.
The digital revolution was undoubtedly a significant driver of the 21st-century economy. It opened up new opportunities for people of all backgrounds to connect, learn and share.
It has also changed the way children learn about life, love, friendship, and values. While social media is an important learning tool in many ways, it is equally harmful too. Children are especially vulnerable to online risks. They are still developing their judgment skills. And are still forming their personality, making them more susceptible to peer pressure and negative influences.
Playing Video Games
While some schools resorted to online learning, most schools did not use this type of learning. Because they considered children from poor backgrounds who could not afford an extra gadget for online learning. Some children are forced to share one gadget and play video games in turns. On the other hand, children that studied online used their free time to play video games because there was no chance of playing outside to refresh.
While playing video games using phones and digital gadgets helped them to remain cheerful, it also had a detrimental effect on their mental health. Children spent too much time playing video games on the screens, and within no time, they became addicted.
Children could wake up, take breakfast to lie on the couch, and start playing video games until late in the evening when they slept. This continuous usage resulted in dangerous addiction that affected how they performed in school when face-to-face learning resumed.
A recent study conducted by a team of Australian researchers has found that people who play video games regularly also have a 10 percent higher chance of developing depression and anxiety disorders. The research team suggested that this increase in stress can be attributed to the fact. That some video games require players to take on the roles of heroes or villains, which, inevitably, leads to some amount of stress and anxiety.
As you can see, the pandemic created a rise in children’s device usage. Devices were distractions from gas masks, school projects, and stressful situations. Children have even started to use social media platforms to help relieve stress.
If this happens now due to a natural circumstance, what will happen with the next generation? What will childhood be like twenty years from now with the progression of technology? Sports activities might eventually become a thing of the past, while EMF protection needs to be intensified. Parents need to set limits on screen time, lest the detrimental effects will continue to escalate.