Digital Addiction in Children Part 1

Is your child addicted to gadgets?

It is very easy to get caught up with this high-tech society we are in. The fast changes are making so many people confused especially the children. In this ever-changing society, I could see the changes that are overwhelming due to the advancement of technology. Now, everything that used to be impossible is becoming possible because of the fast changes in technology. But behind the positive results come the negative effects that this high-tech society is creating in the lives of many people especially the innocent ones.

One parent that I know said, “This digital age is alarming. Children are gadget addicts which is no different than drug addiction.” A concerned parent said, “I worry what will become of these children in the future because of the change that technology has done to the digital generation. Another parent said that she cannot stop her two-year old son from getting addicted to the cellphone because it has become a babysitter while she is busy with household work. Some term this dilemma as CP addiction, gadget addiction, computer addiction, game addiction, etc.

In a book entitled, Digital Cocaine by Brad Huddleston, he mentioned that there is no difference between a cocaine addict and technology addict as far as your brain is concerned. Brad Huddleston believes that digital users are exposed to super saturation on a daily basis, which affects the brains.

In the community where I live; most children as young as 9 years old have cellphones of their own. To many parents, they make cellphones, ipads, ipods, laptops and computers their baby-sitter while they do their thing. While parents are too busy around the house and at work; their children are engrossed with their gadget which allows no distraction on their part. The problem is, the children are not only exposed to radiation. They can also become gadget dependent.

I have a student who is 9 years old and who is studying in an exclusive school. He used to be one of the best in class; he smiles a lot and talks a lot, often telling us about so many things that he did in school and at home. He was fun to be with and we love him but when he started playing computer games, everything went upside down. From the usually lively, intelligent and smart boy came the sluggish, dreamy-eyed and irritable boy who became also alienated with school work.

As his online games addiction became worse, so did his attitude towards his studies. His notebooks became a mess. According to his teacher, the boy spent his time while class is going on, scribbling things on his notebook. His seat works in school were often 0/10. There were times when he didn’t even do his seatwork. When I asked him why he refused to talk.

According to the grandfather who takes care of him while the parents are at work, the boy spends time in the computer café’ for at least 4 to six hours a day. His parents have cut off their internet connection to minimize his computer dependency but he finds time to escape when everybody is sleeping to go to the computer café’ to play his favorite games. The bad thing is, computer café’ owners do not restrict young children from playing in the cafes. This child I was talking about even bragged to us that there was one time when he stayed in the computer café’ for 24 hours.

We encounter a few similar cases among our students in the tutorial center every school year. Sometimes, the problem is solved when the parents cooperate with us. In some cases, things get worse because the parents are too busy working and the children are left with only the household- helpers or a member of the family. In most households, children have easy access to gadgets and computers. Most children today are techno-savvy. They can even open gadgets with passwords.

If you see signs of digital addiction in your child, do something about it. In this computer age, children cannot be restricted for enjoying the computer madness but moderation is good. And keeping them away from gadgets is still better than making them gadget dependent at a very young age.

I hate to say this but the digital age is becoming alarmingly dangerous for the growing up children around. I still prefer it when the internet was not invented. It’s just my opinion. What’s your opinion regarding this worsening scenario?

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