A latest study has put the spotlight on the growing dependence on cell phones in Kashmir, similar as in many other parts of the world. As many as 63 percent of parents interviewed in a study have acknowledged that their child is addicted to an electronic device, mostly a mobile phone.
The study titled “Increase in Screen Time for Children in COVID Times and its effects” carried out by the department of Social and Preventive Medicine has analysed the patterns in electronic device usage among children.
This study involved 307 parents in discussions and interviews about children aged mostly 6 to 10 years.
The purpose was to ascertain the patterns of mobile phone devices among the children.
As per this study, 62.9 percent of parents consider their children addicted to the phone. Nearly half (45 percent children) studied in this survey had personal cell phones.
The study said there was a link between increased screen time, owning a device and cell phone addiction.
“This can be due to no continuous watch (monitoring) over these children by their parents, easy access to their phones at any part of the day and night, no one to limit or restrict them from using their own phones,” the researchers have asserted. The study has been carried out by S Muhammad Salim Khan, Sabira Aalia Dkhar, Ruqia Quansar and Inaamul Haq.
In perspective and background of the Pandemic, when educational activities were mostly carried out through online sessions, the cell phone access has increased.
“They have a lot of dependencies and needs on the Internet and technology in the form of educational help, recreational, or even entertainment”. There was also an association between age and cell phone usage.
The use of devices, smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops or any other electronic gadgets increased with increasing age group and thus increasing the screen-time.
“Over 53 of parents were in agreement that maximum screen-time without causing any health concerns should be less than 2 hours a day,” the study said. The most important concerns were sedentary behavior, less exercising, less physical activity, and resulting increased obesity and adiposity in the longer run.
“Less physical fitness as more urge to spend time with their personal device disrupted sleep schedule and strain due to screen light all affect the physical health The increased screen-time leads to digital strain to the eyes, headaches, and sleep deprivation and thus affecting physical health”.
The researchers have called for steps to review reliance on digital education. “It is important to have a well-thought approach to the role of the Internet and digital devices in teaching and learning.”