How Smartphones Are Affecting Child’s Brain

By Subodh / April 27, 2016

Smartphones have become an integral part of our life. However, with their proliferation, smartphones are now being used by children as well. On one hand, it opens up a whole new world for children, where they can have instant access to a treasure trove of knowledge. On the other hand, it also exposes them to the dangers such as online bullying. With smartphones, it has also become difficult for parents to control the content being consumed by their children. Not to mention the impact radiations are said to have on growing brains of children. Here is a comprehensive look at how smartphones are shaping up today’s children’s brain.

Child with Smartphone

Positive Impact

While smartphones have been largely vilified, it remains a fact that they have entirely revolutionized the way we live. They have also changed the way children learn things. Here are some pointers to show you that smartphones are not all that bad as they have been made out to be:

1. Learn Technology the Easy Way

When kids grow up using technology, it becomes a lot easier for them to understand its nuances. In the modern era, it is an essential skill. It makes them curious about new things as well. Once they use a smartphone, they will be more willing to understand and learn the way it works. This may lead to them learning about basic mechanics, science and coding. These skills are increasingly important and learning them at an early age will offer a certain edge to your children.

2. Aids Learning Process

Smartphones today are choke full of apps which can help your children learn anything, right from photography to their science projects. The methods used by these apps are generally much more creative than the ones employed by regular teaching methods. This makes the process of learning a lot more fun and a lot faster as well.

3. Increase Cognitive Skills

Use of touchscreens, buttons and cursors may increase your child’s cognitive skills. However, it should be ensured that the time your child spends with smartphones is of high quality, which means keeping a tab on the content being watched. Use of smartphones can help in boosting eye-hand coordination as well.

4. Make them Social

Although, it may sound counter intuitive, but the use of smartphones can actually make your child socially well adapted. Engaging in social media and using apps like Skype can actually teach your children to be more social. This way they can get in touch with friends and family members who live too far for personal interaction. Smartphones allow children to interact with people, they would have never met before.

[ Read: How Smartphone Addiction Has Affected Our Life ]

As shown above, smartphones can actually be a good ally of your kids. It can help them learn new things and remain ahead of the curve. Appropriate use of technology can help your children in social as well as academic sphere. But there are many dangers lurking around too. It is very much important to be aware of the pitfalls of using smartphones as well. Following are few of the many repercussions of children using smartphones:

child with smartphone at night

1. Physical Damage

There are some real physical damages associated with the use of smartphones by children. The screens are said to be responsible to damage eyesight of children. Prolonged use may also lead to headaches as eyes need to adjust constantly. Smartphones also emit vibrations which may interfere development of the brain. Children and teenagers are in the growth phase. The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain are located close to the ear and these areas are still developing even in teenage children. Various studies are being conducted to see how the use of cellphones may impact these areas. Frontal and temporal lobes are responsible for advanced cognitive functions.

In this situation, smartphone vibrations can hinder the proper development of brain cells.

Apart from affecting brain development, it can have an adverse impact on other body areas as well. Loud noises from smartphones can affect the ears of children and may cause hearing issues. Use of smartphones also cuts down the time children spend on physical activities. Such lack of physical activity may lead to obesity. Obesity, in itself, is a serious health issue and may cause a number of other ailments.

2. Psychological Impact

Use of smartphones may not only have negative impact on physical health, but it may also have an impact on the psychological development of your children. Excessive time spent on smartphones may cut down real life social interactions. This may lead to strained relationship with parents, friends and peers. It may also have an unfavorable impact on emotional development and communication skills as it can make children more apathetic.

Another issue is related to the content that may be consumed through smartphones. Similar concerns were raised when Television and video games made their entry. People were skeptical that exposure to violence may affect children. Similar concerns are now being brought up against the use of smartphones as well. While these claims are largely unsubstantiated, it is important to keep a close watch on things your children use the smartphones for.

Use of smartphones is also leading to new forms of abuse which may range from online bullying to pedophilia. Children are being exposed to dangerous elements of the society and this may alter the way they think.

While the threat from smartphones is real, as illustrated above, it is important to look at the positive impact as well. Most of the negative effects of smartphones may be easily curtailed by proper supervision by parents.