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Screens: Turning kids into psychotic junkies

Increased use of digital world is addicting the current child to them. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Digital media is highly active in children’s and current teenagers. This growing use of digital media makes them more and more addictive to the virtual world while separating them from real world. Learning knowledge is one of the important parameter which needs to be praised about the digital world which can teach highly professional skills at your fingertips.

This benefit of digital world can also become troublesome if child gets addicted to games or chatting sites. Nowadays even educational institutions are also preferring the use of digital world for developing the recreational ability of the student. They are suggesting different educational games for the student which student can play and develop their skills.

It's 'digital heroin': How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies. (Image Courtesy: Google)
It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Games: Beneficial if used for specific time limit

These games are beneficial unless they are used for a specified time limit. If use of digital media exceeds the limited time range then it becomes a sort of addiction. This addiction leads to reduction in concentration level of the student towards studies. Increased use of tablets and computers leads to damage to the eyes. It even causes damage to the frontal part of the brain which affects like the hyper-arousing and raises the dopamine levels.

It works exactly in the same way in which cocaine works. It affects the feel-good neurotransmitter which is involved in addiction dynamic. This addictive effect works like “electronic cocaine” when they are not plugged in with the device. Kid’s brain will start looking like a brain over the drugs.

Hundreds of clinical studies being conducted shows that screens increases the levels of depression, anxiety and aggression which can even lead to the psychotic-like features. This includes condition where the video-gamer loses the touch with the reality.

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Digital world: An addiction

In case of treatment of addiction of technology the famous axioms holds true, “Prevention is better than cure”. Once the kid has crossed the line of true tech addiction, treatment of the same will prove to be extremely difficult. It will be quite easier for treating heroin and crystal meth addicts than the lose-in-the-matrix video gamers or Facebook dependent social media addicts.

According to the policy statement of 2013 by American Academy of Pediatrics, 8-10 year olds are spending about 8 hours a day with the social media. Teenagers over the other hand are spending 11 hours in front of the screen. According to the handbook of “Internet Addiction” by Dr. Kimberly Young, 18 percent of the college age internet users in US are suffering from tech addiction.

Once the person crosses any line of addiction to digital world, they need to detox themselves before any of the other kind of therapy can have chance of being effective. With regard to technology it would mean a full digital detox which includes no computers, no smartphones or no tablets. Extreme case of digital detox can even eliminate the television.

Treating a hyper-aroused nervous system

Prescribed amount of time includes four to six weeks which is time being usually required for a hyper-aroused nervous system for resetting itself. But it’s not an easy task to accomplish in our tech-filled society where screens are ubiquitous. Person can live without drugs or alcohol but the tech addictions and digital temptations are spreaded everywhere.

To help our kids to stay away from this addiction needs few steps to be undertaken. Key is to keep your child of 4,5 or 8 years of age away from the screens. This can be done by providing Lego instead of Minecraft, books instead of iPads, nature and sports instead of TV. You can also demand that your child’s school doesn’t give them tablet of chromebook until they turn 10 (others recommend it to be 12).

This can even be sorted out by having honest discussions with the child. One can even have tech free dinner which can make them more contributing to the family discussions. One needs to focus on their kids playing physical games and not the virtual ones. Making them more focused over the physical reality.

Explanation to kids

Explaining them while giving practical examples of students who are more inclined towards technology and how they are focusing lesser over the technical projects and their studies. They would not be requiring much of the explanations as they have seen first hand changes which is faced by some of their little friends.

Healthy development of children involves sufficient and healthy social interaction, creative imaginative play and further engagement with the real world. Yet the immersive and addictive world of screens is dampening and stunting this developmental process.

We all know that kid often gets addictive to these scenarios when they start feeling alone. Solution of the same involves making them easily connect over the meaningful experiences and even flesh and blood relationships. Thus this creative child is likely to be engages into the digital world.

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