Electronic Addiction: It’s a Real Problem

Electronics is a broad term covering cell phones, computers, tablets, gaming systems and any other type of portable system used for gaming, messaging and apps. Individuals of all ages are in possession of these devices, and some start at a very young age. It’s becoming an epidemic plaguing society that is disruptive, time-consuming and creates warped senses of reality.

Is social media addicting?

There are various platforms for social media that are severely addicting for children and adults. They can be platforms like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok (formerly music.ly), and others.

These create a false sense of relationships, friendships and constant need for approval in any individual. They also contribute to a warped sense of reality as some believe these relationships to be ideal versus real-world connections.

How is an electronic addiction like drug addiction?

The neurotransmitters released in the brain by the individual playing on an electronic device act like a stimulant that the body will crave increasingly. Children are severely affected by this affliction, as their brains are not developed enough to differentiate between artificial and physical stimulation.

Electronic gaming especially falls into this category, as the stimulus is intense; adrenaline producing and further creates a false sense of reality.

Electronic games can be educational, can’t they?

There are a vast assortment of educational applications and games for children and teenagers to use to increase their understanding in a specific subject area. Teachers will rave about the benefits of using these in aiding their education as well as improving their knowledge.

Professionals recommend limiting the amount of time spent using or playing these applications or games to prevent addictive behaviors from taking root. Supervision is also supported, as most of these games connect to the Internet and allow chatting capabilities.

What are problems associated with electronic addiction in children?

Professionals have suggested that the following are directly correlated with the increase in electronic addiction: obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle for electric use, less reading activities, decreased imaginative play, and a severe decline in face-to-face interactions.

These can mainly affect cerebral development, productivity, social skills, knowledge deficits, inability to tell the distinction between reality and virtual, and behaviour disruptions such as impulse control, outbursts, and tempers. This will disrupt not only their family relationships but also friendships, school, and sports.

How can electronic addiction be combated?

Restricting the use of electronics is the best way to combat the addiction. Do not introduce children to electronics before they learn to speak so this will prevent any stunt in their development.

Be consistent with your follow through on restrictions set forth for electronic use. Do now allow the use of devices during meal times, family time or important events.

Be honest and explain the risks and dangers of addiction to electronics. Offer alternative activities other than electronics to engage and stimulate the brain in different ways.

When it comes to children, be a role model and lead by example. Electronics should be limited and other activities strongly encouraged.