No Gadgets (Part 2)
These scenes—in malls, coffee shops, and homes—are oh-too-familiar today:
They are, it seems, a reflection of the behavior of their parents, who are just as hooked on gadgets.
Many government agencies are now issuing precautions about the side effects of handheld devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics both state that infants (0-2 years) should not be exposed to handheld technology gadgets. Children aged 3-5 years should be limited to just one hour per day of gadget use, while 6-8 years should be restricted to 2 hours per day.
However, parents insist on giving their tots gadgets because they are a sure-fire way of pacifying demanding kids.
Continuing from yesterday’s post, here are more dangers, as culled from research, spawned by early use of gadgets:
Mental Diseases - Technology overuse (gaming consoles, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) will always be a risk factor for child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar issues, psychosis and other problematic behaviors. Gadgets restrict the child’s mind and physical movement which delays his mental and physical development.
Violence - Kids learn to be aggressive—as exhibited in tantrums. As they grow older, they are more likely to confront and disobey their elders and authorities.
Radiation Exposure - The World Health Organization (2011) reported that “cellphones and other wireless devices are considered category 2B risk because of their radiation emission,” harmful to health and are classified as “possible carcinogens.”
Lack of communication Skills - Reduced socializing breeds kids who cannot express themselves clearly and politely—and don’t know how to listen or empathize.
Sleep Deficiency - Because of the thrill kids experience from electronic games and tablets, they prefer to stay up and miss out on their needed rest.
No Exposure to Nature - Instead of going out and learning the ways of the world, appreciating God’s creation—animals, plants, lakes, sky, mountains, and beaches—kids stay cocooned in their own digital world.
Damaged Eyesight - Ophthalmologists say that good eyesight depends upon staring at things of varying distances, spaces, movements, and shapes.
Addiction - New research now reveal that gadget addiction is even more dangerous than drug addiction. Although gadget addiction is not recognized as an official disorder by medical classification, many therapists today treat gadget-addicted patients with the same methods they would use to treat other addictions.
“It’s worse than alcohol or drug abuse because it’s much more engaging and there’s no stigma behind it,” said Nathan Driskell, a therapist in the US.
I am no longer parenting young children, but as an author of children’s books, and one who grew up reading the printed page (e-books were not invented yet), I agree with this research result (abridged):
“Screens and e-readers interfere with two important aspects of navigating texts: 1) serendipity; 2) a sense of control.”
I enjoy flipping to a previous page when a sentence brings back a memory. Often I skim ahead or read the ending and imagine how the author filled up the in-betweens.
My Bibles have marginal notes and I underline the word grace, grateful for where it is taking me. And, don’t laugh, I have the opportunity to lovingly cover my books with plastic as though they were pricey gems.
Well, they are.