Teen Technology use During Covid-19 - Dr. Parul Kathuria

May 18, 2021

Covid 19 hasbeen giving us the gifts one after the other that we will remember for lifetime. One such gift has been the liberty to use technology for great number of hours. With so much options closing down due to the increased number of cases, the major option left with the teens is using technology , after all it has so much to offer. Needless to say, it opens doors to altogether a new world which is what we call as the virtual world. It has the potential to keep you occupied throughout the day and one would not even know where time flew. Social media has been very popular amongst teens. Teens has been using all channels to communicate and show their visibility, may it be Facebook, WhatsApp, Tinder, Twitter,Snapchat, Instagram or any other. That has been their favorite pastime and so popular amongst the younger generation. But slowly, it has taken over their lives as now all their studies (classes, e-books, ppts, assignments, resource materials, class discussions, exams, viva, webinars), entertainment (movies, videos,Games like PUB-G) have all gone digital.


Of course,we have been listening since a long time, that access to the internet is also negatively affecting their well-being because not everyone is able to keep a check on the content one is viewing. The other day one parent was saying that they were trying to search some content for the assignment and an in appropriate content just popped up putting both the child and the mother in an embarrassing state. While the other parent said their child was hiding the cell phone under his bed at night when she entered his room. The child is up till the late hours scrolling or surfing through something or the other. With many having complaints that the child has become habitual and is always on the phone even during eating. With the other saying that she has lost patience and wants everything in a click. Such examples are enough and worthwhile to consider the negative impact technology has on the physical and mental health of the youngsters. We all are aware of the following issues such as eye strains, headache,stress, digital fatigue, lethargy and most importantly obesity and the obesity further have its own problems attached to it. And we can’t ignore the fact that it is slowly and gradually making the generation more hyperactive, restless,impulsive, impatient, fidgety, sleepless, adding to their irritability,aggression, frequent mood swings, delaying the task, poor self-care, anxiety,Depression and most largely making them addictive to what we called as a slow poison. There has been numerous reports and researches which share data on the correlation between the technology use and depression and further depression and suicides. The reason could be many as it is difficult to pinpoint a single factor and it nowhere says that one is causing other but definitely is somewhere contributing to the most common psychological problem called depression. As aparent, it is important that we limit their screen time to a certain number with strict and firm instructions about the time of usage and its restrictive use. If necessary, add filters in their search and a strict monitoring and discipline is important, should follow. Parents should guide youth towards age appropriate, positive, creative,and educational screen media choices as well. Parents should set a positive example by keeping the same standards for themselves, setting up regular off-screen activities, and paying attention to self-care. Engaging in discussions,creating space to share and having an open dialogue can sometimes do wonders. It is important to understand that the virtual world is very different from the real world but they are not prepared enough for it and it can never be a lifelong substitute to our wellbeing. As a Parent, please be observant and if you feel that there are certain behaviors that are concerning and need immediate attention please feel free to take professional help without Delay.