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Immobile childhoods

My son broke down one day as he was neglected in peer talk even by his best friends. He is an outcast for not possessing a mobile phone and hence he is not able to discuss the latest mobile games. A child who is not digitally active is a misfit in this generation. The pocket-sized tool deprives a growing child of all the other wonderful things on earth. Children particularly in the age group of four to 16 are in their fully blooming stage both mentally and physically. They are in a phase of rapid brain development. During this vital years, they have to imbibe moral values from family, school and society; improve their knowledge of nature and earth; develop love, care and compassion towards all living beings; and start reading and loving books. I am not against latest technological advances and its benefits. I support the view that in this digital age, children should be updated about technological advances, but I suggest it should be kept to the essential requirement. It is not the technology or the digital hubs that have to be blamed for addiction to mobile phones. It is the parents who should take blame for presenting expensive gadgets to their young children, assuming it to be the most precious gifts. They are under the impression that their children are brilliant enough to handle this tool, but they do not understand that it is not their child’s brilliance but the manufacturer’s skill that excel in each mobile game or app. I just can’t digest why people are so ignorant about all the ill-effects of mobile addiction. Continuous use of mobile phones causes over-excitement, hyperactivity, anxiety and hypertension. It affects concentration, memory and learning ability to a great extent. Excessive use in the evening hours, particularly during bedtime, hampers good sleep. Sitting hooked to mobile sets or tabs for a prolonged time leads to reduced eyesight, obesity and childhood diabetes. The mobile games designed for boys hamper their emotional balance with excessive violence. It destroys a child’s natural tolerance, patience and concern for others. While playing games, children may accidentally come across adult content and this can have a life-long negative impact on their family and social lives. Modern-day parents bribe their children with mobile phones in return for love. It has also become a symbol of pride and privilege. Parents should be educated in this regard so that they at least limit their children’s mobile usage, if not stop it completely. If parents take a strong decision, children will understand the ill effects and divert their attention towards physical activity, outdoor games, reading and so on. In the present times, children have nothing else to discuss other than the virtual world of games, apps and supernatural heroes. During the annual day celebrations at my son’s school, I was astonished to see how children sat in the auditorium not lifting their heads even once to see what was going on in the stage. They were all engrossed in their costly mobile sets and tabs. They never knew the beginning or end of the cultural programmes which were held only for them. This should definitely change. Educational institutions should create awareness among parents and students of the ill-effects of excessive mobile phone use.

remyamadhavan364@gmail.com


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:15:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/immobile-childhoods/article29605383.ece

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