Do you know that the Philippines is at top 15 as the most smartphone users? With over 36 millions of users according to Statista as of September 2019. And eventually it increased over the year and most likely rocketed because of the pandemic.
Because of the new normal setup even the non techy persons need to use gadgets to continue their professions, businesses or studies. The average user touches their phone 2,617 times a day according to comparecamp, can you imagine that.
As long as you as an adult can manage your usage of gadgets, even how often you use it then it is fine. But can a child do that, especially a student? No, without proper guidance, they will think that holding a gadget for a very long time is fine and get addicted to it. So let's understand and talk about how we can prevent students from gadget addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Gadget Addiction
You might have already noticed these from your children or maybe not, because you are too busy doing your work and other stuff which make you tired at the end of the day and you are no longer able to make time for your children. So if you can make time, try to see if the following symptoms appear on your child and try to give more attention to them.
1. They lose interest in other activities. They are much happier in front of the screen instead of doing physical activities, reading books or studying.
2. They can't control their gadget use. It's hard for them to stop when it's time to take their meal, or anything that they should do to take care of themselves.
3. They are fascinated. They are talking more about the games they played and videos they watched than what really is happening in real life.
4. They are unsociable. They don't care about interacting with anyone in gatherings or even when you are just having a meal together. They always use their smartphone.
5. They have behavioral problems. They adapted the negative influence of it. They might not respect you the way they respect you before and show more respect to their game team mates.
6. They are showing withdrawal. When you tell them to stop using it but they easily get frustrated or worse they get raged.
Causes and Effects of Gadget Addiction
The common reason why we could be addicted to something is because of the pleasure it gives to us, right? It is good but bad if too much. Like drugs, when using gadgets our brain boosts more dopamine that plays a role on how we feel pleasure.
It gives pleasure by receiving rewards from what they do in their gadgets. When playing a game like farmville, they will be rewarded if they complete the tasks. Even scrolling on facebook they also get the feeling of being rewarded by just knowing good news about their social media idols or anything that they are attracted to.
The effects are so obvious. Right after they use the gadgets their mood drops and they won't be able or they don't want to do other activities especially related to their studies. They will have eye problems because of overusing gadgets, they could become obese and have a slow cognitive development.
They might experience bullying because they don't know how to socialize or blend in others. They can also feel or show depression, dishonesty, guilt, anxiety, agitation, fear, loneliness, defensiveness, no sense of time, boredom with routine tasks, insomnia, backache, headache, vision problems, weight loss and gain and many more because of gadget addiction.
Prevent Gadget Addiction
We are in the digital era and almost everything is depending on technology today, we can't avoid that but we can prevent children from overusing it that will or probably destroy them. They need us to guide them, to correct them because they won't realize that it is not good for them.
1. Role Modelling is the best way to discipline them. Yes, you need to discipline yourself because how can you discipline your children in the first place if you can't even apply it to yourself. Charles Spurgeon said “Train up a child in the way he should go - but be sure you go that way yourself”.
2. Set Rules and Boundaries inside or outside your house. Explain it carefully to them that they are only allowed to use gadgets for 1 to 2 hours a day with a break and gadgets are not allowed in the dining area and on bed.
Just set your own rules and boundaries so that they know when it is too much. If they did not obey it of course you need to punish them by not letting them use their gadgets other than for studying purposes.
3. Show and teach them alternative activities. Physical activities are still the best, remember how we played in the streets when we were young.
It will make them physically fit, improve their memory and brain function, reduce health risk and many more. Let them interact with nature too because it lowers their stress, reduces their aggression and improves their focus.
4. Reward them with additional hours when they accomplish something good in your home or in school. That will keep them doing it again and again because they are appreciated.
5.Make time to play with them. It will make them more happy because you are their first best friend. It will also give you the chance to know if the game is good for them or not, and at the same time it could distress you not because of playing the game but because you are playing with your precious children.
Only you can help and prevent them from gadget addiction. But if their condition is worse, you need to consult a doctor to have proper guidance for your children's case.
1. How do I stop my child being addicted to my phone?
Answer: Be a role model to your child, set rules and boundaries, do alternative activities, reward them if they follow the rules and make time to play with them.
2. How do you know if your child is addicted to their phone?
Answer: They lose interest in other activities, they can’t control gadget use, they are fascinated and unsociable, they have behavioural problems and showing withdrawal.
3. What are the causes of gadget addiction?
Answer: Anything that gives pleasure and reward or a fulfillment feeling are addictive. Like drugs, when using gadgets our brain boosts more dopamine that plays a role in how we feel pleasure.