Now a days TV and Mobile are very important part of life. Some feel it is basic need of human. People feel asphyxiation when they are apart from cell phones. Today’s smart phone has made life very easy. Children and adolescents are also getting addicted to it. Many children becoming dependant on the laptop, TV, cell phones for their day to day activities and watching cartoons. Now we have to know what is screen time. It’s the time spent idly by children in watching TV, playing games in cell phones or watching social media etc. It doesn’t include educational activities in TV.
Definition by office of children e safety
American pediatric definition of screen time
What is the effect? First the human brain develops maximum in early years. Its below 5 years. All the modalities of human cognitive capacity like memory, language, judgement, visuospatial, attention develop maximum at this time. So child needs brain activity for development of all these domains. For sound development brain needs good sleep time. Due to smart phone use the sleep is destroyed first. Many children don’t sleep well. The second is the outdoor activities are limited. Exercise help in blood circulation along with hormonal balance and mood elevation. Third is violence in screens. It brings an inhibitory effect on psychosomatic growth with negative personality development. Fourth is it inhibits imaginary power of a child. Suppose we read or hear a story, then it’s perceived in one part of brain. Then we imagine the scene and visualize it. But if we see in video then we only see. No need of imagination or visualisation. It never gives a stimulus for cognitive growth. Fifth is it decreases family interaction, human touch and emotional attachment. It also decrease the cognitive growth. Sixth is dangerous effect on eyes.
Average adolescent wastes 7.5 hour in screen what he could do at that time (CDC)
Excessive screen time has several negative effect according to recent studies in lancet. Childhood behavioral disorder, personality disorder, memory impairment, attention deficit, poor school performance and many more diseases appear as consequence. Most of the children develop memory deficit and attention deficit. It’s due to poor cognitive growth. Many children develop language delay. Some children have poor life skills.
Recently World health organization (WHO) has made guidelines for screen time and play time. As there is many good effects of screen too in educational activities, children must not stop it completely. But screen time must be limited.
What we can do to limit screen time
The first 5 years are very important for the brain development. But excessive screen watch may ruin it. Good cognitive growth is necessary for a better future. It will prevent children from many neurologic and psychiatric disease. So lets return to books………