53 percent parents consider spending less than 2 hours on phone daily isn’t a addiction
(KashmirScroll)—65 percent parents in Jammu and Kashmir don’t prefer online applications for education of their children besides that 20 percent parents said that they prefer online applications for their children, a survey conducted by GMC Srinagar has revealed.
“An online survey was conducted to study the screen time in children during COVID-19. The online Google Forms were shared through various social media sites and parents were asked to fill out the forms. A total of 307 responses were received and analyzed.” Reads the data
“The age of the children ranged from 0 to 18 years. The maximum number of children belonged to the age group of 6-10 years (37.5%), followed by age group of 10-18 years (31.6%), followed by 0-5 years (18.3%), and least in the age group of >18 years (12.6%). The use of devices/smartphones/laptops/tablets/desktops or any other electronic gadgets increased with increasing age group and thus increasing the screen-time. The increased screen-time with increased age of the child could be attributed to the fact that ability or skill to use mobile or any other device increases with age group and thus chances of more frequency and duration of device use. The parents also allow the children to use mobile phones or other devices to keep them occupied and calm when they are doing household chores or shopping. With an increase in age, the increase of screen time can be due to lesser parental control over children as they grow up and children become more independent and take over major decision-making in their life. The increasing age group is associated with increased screen-time in other studies as well.” It adds.
“Approximately 56.1% of the children were males and 43.9% were females. The majority of the children used phones (68.7%), followed by tablets (11.4%), laptop (9.4%), television (8.5%), desktop (1.3%), and others (0.7%).” It said.
“Approximately 45% of children in the study had personal phones/devices and 54.3% of children did not possess a personal phone/device, whereas 0.7% of children may/ may not have personal devices/phones. The possession of a personal phone or device has a positive association with the increased screen-time among children. This can be due to no continuous watch over these children by their parents, easy access to their phones at any part of the day and night, no one to limit or restrict them from using their own phones. The children with personal devices or phones were more skillful and had the liberty to use the phone as per their convenience or time and preference and even during the odd hours at night or before going to bed, whereas the phone use limited if one has to ask for the phone/ device from an elder one or either of the parents.” It adds further.
“So far, 62.9% children reported to be addicted/glued to the devices/phones, whereas 25.4% of children were reported not to be glued/addicted and 11.7% were not sure about the addiction. The more the child was glued/ addicted to the devices/phones, the more the screen time of the children. The children once addicted to the use of these devices or phones would lead to more use of these and thus the increased screen-time. Use of electronic media acts like a digital drug for our brain and this releases dopamine in our brain which have a negative effect on impulse control.” It adds.
“We saw 64.5% of parents reported that they do not prefer online applications for the education of the child whereas 20.2% of parents said that they prefer applications and 15.3% of parents were not sure about the usage of online educational applications. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the shift of the educational system of the nations to the online mode from the conventional school mode due to the lockdown and restrictions. The restrictions and lockdown have led to the stoppage of the school services and thus the education system has taken a setback and thus changes of the policy to the online mode. The online mode of education has thus led the children to more use of smartphones and devices and thus increases in the screen-time. The more educational applications installed in smartphones automatically leads to more time spent on the smart devices and thus increased screen-time.” It added.
“When parents were asked regarding the maximum
screen-time for children without causing any addiction, 53.1% of parents responded to have <2h of exposure, 28.2% of parents responded with 2-3 h, 17.7% parents said 3-6 h, and only 1% parents responded >6h. The time spent on these devices/phones is directly related to the screen-time exposure. This is due to the constant feeling parents have after watching their children always using
phone/electronic devices. Most parents recommended
time, that is, <2h was defined as the child not being
addicted following the WHO guidelines. ” It added further.
“About 61.6% of parents felt that the increased screen time among the children leads to decreased academic achievements, whereas 18.5% of parents did not felt that the screen-time is associated with academic achievements and 19.9% of parents were not sure about
the same. The usage of smart devices/phones in children may lead to less concentration on other things and thus
more dependencies to online gaming.” It added further.
“Approximately 94.5% of parents were in agreement with the fact that the increased screen-time or increased use of smartphones was affecting the physical health of the children, whereas only 5.5% were not in agreement with this. The use of smart devices/phones leads to more often sedentary behavior, less exercising, less physical activity, and thus increased obesity and adiposity in the longer run. Less physical fitness as more urge to spend time with their personal device disrupted sleep schedule and strain due to screen light all affect the physical health The increased screen-time leads to digital strain to the eyes, headaches, and sleep deprivation and thus affecting physical health. Similar findings were reported in some studies.” It added further
“Around 94.1% of parents were in agreement with the fact that the increased screen-time or increased use of devices/phones was affecting the mental wellbeing of the children, whereas only 5.9% were not in agreement with the statement. The use of smart devices/phones leads to poor concentration and emotional and mood instability and poor self-control. The user may also be associated with anxiety and depression and poor interpersonal relationships. Similar findings were also reported in studies.” It said.
“The increased screen-time was associated with increasing age, personal devices, and more educational applications installed in the phone. The increased screen-time among the children was affecting their physical as well as mental health.” It added further.
“The study concludes that the increased screen-time has ill effects both on the physical as well as mental health of the children. The present scenario in wake of COVID-19 has brought to the forefront the need to revisit the concept of screen time from a health perspective. This is important given the exclusive reliance on time spent looking at the screen as a measure to ensure healthy use of the Internet and Internet-enabled devices.” There is a need to look beyond the absolute amount of time children and adolescents spend looking at the digital screens. Hence, it is important to have a well-thought approach to the role of the Internet and digital devices in teaching and learning.” It adds further.