Javid Amin, Journalist based in Kashmir (J&K). Printer, Publisher, Editor of "Weekly Shohrat - Kashmir" (Print Edition) as well owner of online news portals www.KashmirPost.org / www.KashmirInFocus.com. Aimed at putting Kashmir and its issues on the global platform. An extensively traveled person enjoys writing.

Aadil Ahmad Bhat

When you see a nine-year child locking her or himself in a room for a couple of days in the company of a phone only what will you do? When you see a nine-year-old child watching pornographic material what will you do? Well, these are among the adverse effects of mobile on present children. In the world today, it has become the norm for children to have smart phones. Kids can maneuver their way around the applications and settings in no time. Having phones has however rendered the children prone to many disadvantages. Some talk to their friends for very long hours while others cannot stay without their precious games installed. They are exposed to the internet that is an abode of unfiltered knowledge. This exposure can however have many effects on the child. Cases of phone addiction are anything to go by. You find a young child who cannot do anything by themselves in an absence of a phone. A phone determines their waking up and their sleeping. Time to eat; there is a phone at their fingertips. They get games and any other kind of entertainment from mobile phones. All their habits are centered on mobile phones.

Decreased academic performance is a major effect. Today, most kids have their phones with them in school and this means that they end up looking forward to the school breaks to communicate with their friends. Some even go to the extent of playing games in class instead of concentrating on the lessons taught. Their concentration in this case is compromised and they end up missing important lessons and points taught in class and they end up having very poor grades.

Children who are highly exposed to mobile phones are at risk of having disturbed brain activity. Mobile phones predominantly function on electromagnetic waves for all customs of communication. The brain has its own electric compulsions and communiqué is conceded out in the neural system. Children lack a strong shield hence the waves generated from the mobile phones may easily go right into the inner parts of the brain. Research has shown that talking on the phone for minutes as short as two minutes can change the electrical activity within a child. This highly influences the change in mood patterns and tendency of the child’s behavior. This child’s ability to grasp and learn new things is affected and the focus and concentration rate goes down.

The sleep patterns of children are disrupted. We find that children with mobile phones end up spending many hours on their gadgets talking to their friends or playing games or watching videos. Most of them end up doing these things till way past their bed times and this ends up disrupting their sleep patterns and make them unproductive. Research shows that cases of children communicating with strangers and ending up into scary situations are increasing at an alarming pace. Some of those strangers are kidnappers who exchange contacts with the children. They plan to meet the children in places where they will buy them nice things; food included. An innocent child will very easily fall into this trap. This is a very easy way that kidnappers have been known to use. In an event where the parents of the children were responsible for what communication a child does then this would have been avoided. Children following internet games to the extent of killing themselves using phones are frequent cases. The games usually come with procedures that should be followed step by step. Children innocently do that little do they know that they are in the process of taking away their lives.

The human mind is made to manufacture information and ideas by itself through practice. When children get all the information from the phones, they don’t put their brains to work hence develop poor thinking and reasoning capacity. Instances of getting answers for their exams and getting assignments done from Google are also common among the school going children which should be highly discouraged.

Children with mobile phones may end up viewing inappropriate media. The media has all sorts of material which may not necessarily be filtered information and fit for a child’s consumption. They may come across texts and images that are not appropriate in the groups they are in and the people they chat with. Those are videos that should not be watched or made to access by children because they have age limit. Because of curiosity children will want to see those videos and end up corrupting their minds leading to teenage pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted diseases in most of the western countries.

Phone use is a major cause of depression among the children. Too much work without play makes Jack a dull kid. This is where for children their eyes are always glued to phone and they never get time to play or socialize physically with other children. Children on social media may come across cyber bullies who pester and bully them on the internet. They are prone to having depression when they either do not get the attention they want, see their peers living better lives or when they are given mean comments on their walls and pages. Before this is known, most of the time the damage is always already done and it takes more for them to be comfortable and go back to a healthier mental state.

Mobile phones have brought more harm than good. Children are getting exposed to many harmful things and material and this is slowly affecting them in many ways. The fact that technology is growing day by day is undeniable, but children should be taken care of and their mobile phone activity monitored by their parents, teachers or guardians. Mobile phones have become part and parcel of our lives but we must take due care so that they are used for right purposes especially among the children. What has to be made clear is that parents should strictly play the role of ensuring that they know the content that children access in the mobile phones just the same way they choose for them what food to eat, what cloths to put on and what type people to interact with.