In this era of competition, the one thing that keeps us connected to our loved ones is our cell phones and electronic devices. When both parents are on the job, it’s normal for a young person to feel bored or neglected. Our cell phones give us the benefit of staying connected, at least virtually. But being on the cell phone for a long time causes screen addiction and side effects. Plus, staying connected isn’t the only thing that has been made easier through our devices. Both kids and adults can surf the internet as per their area of interest and get lost in the world of virtual haze.
Kids these days are mostly dependent on gadgets to keep themselves busy and to kill boredom rather than any physical activity. Even a toddler doesn’t eat unless he is offered some cartoon or video as a distraction. And this has led to prolonged screen time.
Mind you, the excessive usage of the device is not only your or your teenager’s fault; all these apps that you frequent are very sneaky too. They are fueling the screen addiction as much as you guys not having any self-control. Some addictive features of apps are listed below:
- The social game: So your teenager uploaded a photo, now he/she will spend hours checking the app to see if anyone liked or commented on the said photo.
- Autoplay: Your kid is addicted to all those streaming apps because it is too tempting to click the next episode option for stranger things. Even the adults who are using social media apps can’t stop watching one video after another. Why? Because the app is giving you an incentive to keep on watching.
- The streaks: Mind you boomers, every teenager loves his streak game. But what is this streak? A Snapstreak begins after two friends send snaps (pictures) to each other for three days consecutively. Now, sending streaks to each other is no gain, rather than a nonsensical feeling of being social, which is atrocious, but what do we know.
The dreaded notifications
Checking the phone every five minutes to check notifications or to see if something new has come upon their feed
The question is how to beat this addiction?
First of all, as we all have heard that, “Prevention is better than cure.” Here are some ways to help get rid of screen addiction in adolescents.
A screen time limit
The first question that pops up after hearing this is how to check screen time
Well, the answer is simple; you can do this by using FamiSafe parental apps like FamiSafe. FamiSafe gives you an array of features. Some of them are monitoring the minor’s on-screen activities, filtering web content, setting screen time limits, and many more.
Set up rules
Even though you have a screen time limit, it is vital that you set up rules too. For instance, there should be no phones during breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. There would be no phone usage after 10 pm so that the kids get a full 8-hour sleep.
Block addictive apps of the device
Gaming apps specifically are very addictive. If you feel that some game is taking your young one away from reality, then the solution is to block that app. Also, some can be harmful apps; it can be detrimental for their mental health, for instance, the blue whale was just a gaming app, but children took their lives because they failed to fulfill the task. Always keep a check on apps used by your children.
Encourage children to do physical activities
Physical activities are essential to keep the mind refreshed and the body healthy. Hence it would be best if you encourage them to play games in the backyard, take them to parks, or cycle on the streets. These activities will keep them occupied and away from screens.
Purposeful use of screens
The internet does have its disadvantage, but there are benefits too. For instance, teenagers can learn new things via online tutorials and websites. They can read about different things. So when you hand over a screen to your child, make sure that they are using it for the right purpose. There are a lot of dangers to protect them you must monitor their screen activity
No screens in the room
It was found by research conducted under the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that teenagers who had a screen in their rooms were lazy, performed badly in academics, and were obese. Hence leaving a screen in your child’s room is not the best idea.
Block screen access
Once the time limit for using screen is over for the day, you should block the screens of devices using parental apps and hide the television remotes. Teenagers will get angry and fight with you, but rules are rules.
Let them be bored
It would be great if you let your offspring be bored. When they are bored, they will find something to do one way or the other. This process of finding something to do out of utter boredom will build their creative skills.
Please don’t give them screens and get rid of their constant need for attention
It is effortless to hand them a device so that they don’t annoy you. But these screens will cause them to harm in the future; instead of screens, you can give books and physical games. These activities are much better than exposure to screens.
Don’t spend all your time on phones.
Adults tend to use their phones excessively around the day, sometimes to do work, and occasionally check their social media. Remember your young one will follow whatever you do if you are on screen all the time then they will want one too. So put down your screen and interact with them. Spend time with them reading books, listening to them, and playing games they like.
Hopefully, with all these tips, you will be able to stop the excessive screen exposure in their life