- Is your mind being taken over by the digital world?
- Is TV a convenient escape or do you watch specific programs with a purpose?
- Is the Internet a functional source of information or an escape mechanism for entertainment?
Public Health England, who issues guidance to NHS (National Health Service) says there is a distinct correlation between the time spent on the internet eg Social media as well as TV, and mental health problems, which are increasing in children. Children who spend more time (approximately 4 hours or more a day),on computers, TV and video games tend to experience higher levels of emotional distress, anxiety and depression. Childine calls about online bullying; suicidal thoughts and self harm have escalated in recent years. The digital culture is on the increase with access to the internet being provided through smartphones and tablets as well as computers.
There are many more side effects of “screen addiction”:
- bad posture due to sloppy seating habits;
- bad eating habits – meals in front of TV or eating while on the computer rather than mindfully eating and digesting food
- brainwashing through media which results in
- peer pressure to wear the “latest and greatest – to fit in” OR
- pressure that you are measured by your material value – your looks, your home, your car, your school and more….
- anti-social behavior
- conversations are held via technical medium
- relationship breakdowns due to distracted conversations, with either party half listening because they are caught up with a cellphone, tablet or laptop
3 Ways change these habits?
- SCREEN TIME needs to be “screened” by parents by parents, so that what children see, adds value to them, whether educational or entertaining.
- Time in front of a screen should be limited to either specific programs or a specific time
- Find other sources of stimulation and entertainment which will bring mental, emotional and physical balance. It will help to develop their social and motor skills as well as other capabilities which will empower them and enable them feel better about themselves.