What is Problematic Smartphone Use and how
What is Problematic Smartphone Use and how to protect your kids from it
What is problematic smartphone use?
Nomophobia or no mobile phone phobia has undergone label changes to be called cell-phone addiction, smartphone dependency, and smartphone overuse. Problematic smartphone use has been developed by researchers to avoid stigmatisation of such individuals.
It refers to a condition of overusing smartphones with growing psychological and behavioural dependence on the use of smartphones. This is closely linked to social media as well as internet addiction. It can be exhibited through various behaviours like:
• Use of smartphones in dangerous circumstances like crossing roads/driving
• Overuse of smartphones or being preoccupied with mobile communication
• Going overboard with the amount of time/money spent through smartphones
• Excessive use of smartphones in social gatherings
Impact of problematic smartphone use in kids
Problematic smartphone use affects the physical and psychological health of children by keeping them glued to phones. It can result in obesity issues and other health risks, including vision problems, sleep disorders, body aches and pains.
It can also raise feelings of anxiety and depression in children as well as impair cognitive processes. When attention, memory, and other cognitive functions are impaired, academic achievement is affected and the results carry on throughout the child’s life.
Excessive time spent with smartphones results in lack of social development in kids as they fail to interact with others and pick up on essential social skills. This has long term effects on their social adjustment and capacity to form real relationships.
It is because of these reasons that problematic smartphone use is a concern for parents, but there are ways that you can protect your kids from it.
Protecting your kids from it
The first thing to do to protect your kids from problematic smartphone use is to keep an eye on what they’re doing on their smartphones. Child protection apps like spy phone app, phone tracker, and spy phone can help you monitor your child’s smartphone use and give you details of the websites they’re viewing, people they’re interacting with as well as calls they’re making or receiving. You can even locate your child with these apps.
Establish clear rules regarding smartphone use. Set time limits on phone use and be sure to include phone-free zones in the house where all family members must refrain from using their phones. Make it a point that your child doesn’t use their smartphone before going to bed.
Invest more time in doing things together as a family and encourage physical activity in your kid on a daily basis to limit use of their smartphone. You also need to make sure that you’re setting a good example for them by being a role model whose behaviour they can emulate. This means checking your own smartphone use and creating healthy digital media behaviours.
Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using smartphones with your child and maintain open communication with them so that they can come to you if they’re ever struggling with anything.
Seek professional help if nothing else works. Cognitive behavioural therapy and other forms of therapy can help get a better understanding of phone use in kids and treat addictive behaviours.