For six years old Fazi* (name changed), using a mobile phone has become a part of her daily life. Although an electronic gazette, but how the minor uses it, is a bigger worry for her parents.
Fazi was barely two when her mother showed her a clip on a mobile phone that quickly grabbed the attention of a weeping child. “She was crying alot so I thought I must show her a cartoon on phone, to soothe her down. Since that day my child has not left using the phone,” recalls her mother.
“She gets so engrossed into watching these videos on my cellphone, that for her all the characters are real. She was only three when she started to blabber the dialogues of characters. And now whenever I try to take my phone away from her she throws tantrums,” she explained.
A study “Increase in Screen Time for Children in COVID Times and its effects” was conducted by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine. The study revealed that ” Over 53 of parents were in agreement that maximum screen-time without causing any health concerns should be less than 2 hours a day.” Most of the parents who were surveyed through this study were of the opinion that their children were “addicted to the phones.”
A 35 years old mother from Anantnag told Ground Report, “I have two children aged 8 and 6. When they wake up in the morning, a cartoon video on cell phone is the first thing that they want to continue with until they have their breakfast.”
She further added, ” During the day also, when its feeding time, they need a cell phone. This worries me alot about their overall health and eyes.”
Children however have a very different opinion altogether. A thirteen years old girl from Srinagar told Ground Report, ” I want a cellphone because everyone in my class has a phone of their own.”
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when the whole world was put under lockdown, most of the sectors shifted online including education. Young children were put together with a phone and that also lead to an addiction. ” Because children were left with ample of time during the lockdown and they mostly were confined to their houses and thus that also became a factor for their increased mobile phone usage.
My children used to take my phone in the morning and I never got a hold of it during the whole day. And it unfortunately they became habitual towards it. Even now when they come back from school they want phone even before getting changed. It stresses me out,” said a distressed mother to two children aged five and nine.
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