Mobile phones and children

Today is the generation of mobile phones and everyone in your eyesight or memory mostly does have a smart phone. About 95% of the U.S. teens have a smartphone and about 45% of them are constantly accessible to internet (Schaeffer, 2019). This has become an important part of their daily routine. Just take it on yourself, what is the first thing you do when you wake up? The answer is you check your phone for messages or notifications; this fact has also been shown in the surveys (Schaeffer, 2019). And about 79% of us check our apps in an hour before sleep (Dredge, 2018). Even if this is not horrifying, more than half of us use our mobile phone within 15 minutes of waking up (Dredge, 2018).

The average daily time spent increase for children with 53 minutes at age of 12 months and more than 150 minutes at 3 years (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institue of Child Health and Human Development, 2019). And if the children are in home-based childcare or were the child of first-time mothers; they were the ones to report highest amount of screen time (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institue of Child Health and Human Development, 2019). Majority of the teens use it to pass time i.e. 90% and 84% of them using it to connect with people and 83% to learn new things (Schaeffer, 2019). Youngsters also use smart phone is to avoid interacting with people i.e. 43% (Schaeffer, 2019). This trend is more popular in girls and less in boys.

Teenagers have even said that they feel lonely without their phone (Schaeffer, 2019). More than half of them know that they are using excess of their time on mobile phones and among them roughly half have reported that they have never reduced the time on their cellphone (Schaeffer, 2019). This whole smartphone is very addictive in nature and it is clear, when ever we wake up in the middle of night we get our mobile phone (Dredge, 2018). Sometimes even if we do not use our mobile phones, the people around us being constantly on their phones; incline us towards getting our phone. Thus, this whole thing is a viscous circle.

Either we use it for social networking or for playing games, these all things we feed on. Nick Kuh said, “I’ve worked on apps myself, and it’s mot something I’m proud of” (Dredge, 2018). Thus, the

companies making these apps want us to be stuck on them. According to Dr Daria Kuss from Nottingham Trent University, that for decreasing the smartphone use the first step is to create awareness of one’s smartphone use (Dredge, 2018). And for the children, any child under 18 months of age should not be exposed to screen media; for others the screen time should be limited (Kidslox, 2017).

But, what we see is completely different, about 87% of the children use more than the recommended screen time (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institue of Child Health and Human Development, 2019). Other simple things like using an alarm clock instead of alarm on mobile phone, respecting the people in the room by not using mobile phones, keeping screen time shortcut on the lock screen; these all can help in controlling your screen time (Kidslox, 2017).