Children today are being introduced to digital devices from a very early age. An overnight train journey today presents the funny picture of how parents are using digital technology, as a means to distract children when it comes to even the simplest of activities like eating dinner. But this situation begs the question, how do we strike a digital balance in a digital world?
With digital technology seeping into almost every aspect of our lives, the need to moderate their usage becomes all the more important. It is not uncommon for a child to own a smartphone, take it to school, and even take them to bed with them! This has given rise to a growing dependence on these devices, and parents and children feel lost without them.
With a growing dependence, comes the growing need to begin moderating the use of these devices so that we get healthy exposure to the real world as well! Children need time to interact with each other face to face, they need time to grow physically by going outside to play, and they need quality time with their family as well.
Smartphones have eaten into most of these activities, where some studies have revealed the average Indian youth today use digital devices for more than 2.2 hours a day! (http://www.nextbigwhat.com/india-youth-mobile-usage-297/)
Here are some tips on developing a healthy balance in the usage of digital devices:
- Don’t use smartphones as a distraction: A lot of parents use smartphones or tablets to distract children while trying to eat dinner, or when they want to keep the kids occupied. But leads to a dependency on them early on in life.
- Encourage studying in the common room: Children often close their room doors to avoid any distractions while studying, but Smartphones are probably the biggest distractions when it comes to children today. Studying in a common room will subconsciously make them concentrate more. Study time and smartphones just don’t mix.
- Play hard! : An increased use of device time leads to decreased physical activity. Encourage kids to spend more time in the real world rather than the digital so they can grow physically.
- Create usage schedules : Creating limits on how much a child can use their device is a great, implementing it is the hard part. Many children lose sleep because they think it’s cool to be awake and online till their classmates are online. A strict schedule will help them strike the right balance.
- Like parent, like child: As a parent, you are their biggest example! Resist from bringing your smartphone to the dining table, taking your phone to bed with you, or even while sitting in the living room with them!
With more and more types of smart devices out there, our interaction with the digital world becomes more prevalent. So when is the best time to start working on that balance? At Nischint we believe it’s now! It’s time to take control of digital, before it takes control of you! The joys of flipping through the pages of a new book, or rolling down a grassy hill may be new to a huge number of children nowadays, but it’s never too late to start!
Nischint is a technology solutions company whose prime focus is to create a safe digital environment for children today. We help children learn how to use their devices responsibly and with restraint while also providing parents with the ability to monitor their child’s lives online. A special feature that we’ve added is to schedule device usage, so that children can focus while they are at school/studying/playing so they get to experience the best of both worlds.