A few days ago at a social gathering, my eyes caught the sight of a boy barely 2 years old holding a huge tablet, watching ridiculous YouTube videos and throwing tantrums for his parents to sort out while they were attempting to feed him his meal. I turned away only to be shocked to see another teen engrossed in playing action games on his mobile, reluctant to greet anyone. This made me realize the extent to which addiction to mobile phones is emerging amongst the newer generations. At such a tender age, children who are supposed to develop their skills are busy wasting their time on social media forums.
In today’s modern era, the internet has become a much more familiar thing for people. The appearance of the internet came with the emergence of various kinds of social media platforms, of which Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are some examples. Wherever you go, you’ll find yourself surrounded by people engrossed in their mobile phones, seemingly lost in the whims of social media. It has now evolved to something that is essentially engraved in our daily lives, something that has become so significant to the extent of it being culturally defining. Over the past few years, the mobile phone trend has seen an exponential surge amongst the newer generations. Whether it is for completing an assignment or for entertainment, the internet and mobile phones are used for every need. However, it’s not necessarily a negative need, as proven during this pandemic, we were compelled to use these devices for the sake of our living, whether it was for online classes or grocery needs, everything could be done within one tap on a screen. Adolescents are the most affected age group by this addiction. Furthermore, the online game culture has induced this generation to be engaged on their mobile phones for hours.
- EFFECT ON HEALTH
Too much time spent on these platforms proves to be deleterious for individuals. It has a negative effect on both physical and mental health. Worldwide, the average person spends a complete 6 hours on their digital accessories. It weakens general eyesight and drains energy levels. Using a phone while eating also deteriorates health.
- POOR PERFORMANCE
There is no doubt that time spent on these devices wastes a great deal of potential time. This leads to a decreased capacity for doing the important work and may lead to unsatisfactory results in job or academics.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM
We often see people showing off their glamorous life on social media, which makes some people insecure about their own lives. Many individuals, especially teenagers, try to live up the life of their idols and feel miserable when they don’t get the desired outcomes.
- NO QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY
With the increase in the usage of mobile phones, teenagers do not spend time with their families and loved ones. They can go for hours scrolling through Instagram, and Facebook but fail to utilize that time to enjoy some quality activities with their dear ones.
HOW TO REDUCE THIS ADDICTION?
- TURN OFF THE NOTIFICATIONS
The biggest diversion while we do our task are the constant notifications, which tend to pop up and in turn cause us to get distracted from the task in hand. It is more viable to turn them off for better concentration.
- SET A TIME LIMIT
Nowadays, many apps have a time limit that you can impose which helps to moderate the time spent on them and create a balance between work and the internet.
- TAKE UP A HOBBY
One can pursue hobbies like cooking, gardening, painting, sculpting, photography, etc. These are not only beneficial for skill development but also serve as a welcome diversion from social media.
It is crucial to set clear boundaries between smartphones and our day-to-day lifestyle. The usage should be for a considerable amount of time so that they can work for the enhancement of our lives and simultaneously not disrupt our life patterns in any way.