The Link Between Teenagers, Smartphones, And Mental Health
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Smartphones pose a threat to human health, with their extremely high radio-frequency environment. Is it only the smartphone addiction that is worrisome, or do the concerns run much deeper?
The subject of ‘smartphones’ caught my attention and concern when I came across a teenager crying, after her smartphone (the smartest in the race, to be precise) was stolen. Though she was in shock because of the ‘expensive’ loss, yet, her desperation to own the same model made me take up this small study to see where this naïve younger generation is carelessly heading.
Are ‘smartphones’ smart enough?
Smartphones derive their name from the ‘smart’ functionality of providing useful information in time, in a user-friendly format. However, the adage, ‘the excess of everything is bad’, was never more true than when it comes to the addictive use of smartphones by teenagers.
Prime concerns related to the mental health of teens
Age is not a criterion for obsession with this portable tech marvel, yet, a sneak peek into research outcomes clearly highlights the threat posed by smartphones to the younger generations. The prime concerns for teenagers include:
- Non-malignant tumours in the brain and the ear
- Retarded development of the nervous system
- Impairment of learning ability, resulting in behavioural problems
- Slowdown of learning
- Reduced physical interactions and play activities
- Negative impact on a few aspects of advanced cognitive learning
Easy tips to surpass the ‘smartphone’ roadblocks
Since the outcome is much more alarming than it seems, it’s time for parents, educators, and the society at large to acknowledge the concern and act responsibly.
For teenagers and children:
- Keeping phones away from your bed during nighttime and while studying will help in brain development, as well as improved focus.
- Fix a daily ‘detox hour’ as a fun activity with your peers. During this hour, the one who is caught using the phone will be given a penalty.
- Delete your favorite app for a week or a month, and learn a specific skill during that time.
- Do not encourage children to think of smartphones as a symbol of their social identity.
- Instead of commanding them or enforcing rules upon your children, spending some quality time with them can be effective way of making sure their use is limited to as much is needed. Eliminating the use of phones while spending time together as a family could act as a good example and motivator.
- Actively listen to them, instead of giving frequent advice. This will heal relationships and will help in building a strong emotional bond.
- Educate children about the impact of overuse of mobile phones. Motivate them towards strengthening their willpower to restrict its use.
The real culprit is not technology, but its overuse and the resulting addiction. Let’s contribute to empower our younger generation to face this widespread technological havoc, and not compromise on their memory and brain development. After all, teenage smartness is far ahead of these crippling smartphones.