New Delhi, July 7 : Children don’t understand how using an excess of social media and the Internet and playing video games like PUBG can harmfully affect their eyesight, social habits and can lead to insomnia, laziness or even lack of concentration and anxiety.
When 11-year-old Pallavi (name changed on request) was gifted a smartphone on her birthday in April this year, a big smile greeted her parents who decided to bid good bye to the TV set three years ago hoping their daughter would spend more time with some creative stuff around.
With high-speed Wi-Fi, she got access to a digital world on the smartphone into which her peer group had already taken a deep dive.
Part of an upscale society in Noida, everything was OK initially as Pallavi had exposure to YouTube videos and some downloaded games — amid requests to have an Instagram account that were politely denied by her parents till she turns 13.
One day, out of curiosity, Pallavi’s mother went through her smartphone as she was away to school. To her shock, there were short videos made on Chinese apps like Likee by Pallavi and her friends during visits to one another’s house – some even made in the society’s parking basement.
The “suggestive” videos with explicit hand gestures amid dance steps were enough to make Pallavi’s mother realise the mistake she had made.
“With TV in the living room, we had control over the content. She normally saw movies which we also watched together. Even Internet TV on a big screen can be monitored but smartphone has really been a bad choice,” Pallavi’s mother, who has now taken the smartphone away and bought a new TV set, told IANS.
According to behavioural experts, if you are one of those parents who has handed over a smartphone or a tablet to your kids to keep them entertained, convince your kids to watch the old idiot box instead.
“Though there are a number of educational apps and games which children can play on smartphones, it is not always easy to monitor your child’s smartphone usage,” said Meenal Arora, Founder Director, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools, Delhi.
“There is an option of deleting the history or going incognito, thus making it difficult for parents to know what their child was doing on the smartphone for the last hour or so,” Arora told
According to Arora who is also a parenting expert, television is a comparatively safer option than smartphones.
A new report from mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower found that out of the 18.8 crore new users that the Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok added globally in the first quarter of 2019, 8.86 crore were from India.
“Children don’t understand how using an excess of social media and the Internet and playing video games like PUBG can harmfully affect their eyesight, social habits and can lead to insomnia, laziness or even lack of concentration and anxiety,” Mrinmay Kumar Das, Senior Consultant at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told