The use of technology is almost always increasing in our ever-changing world. It has an influence on all aspects of our life, from interacting with loved ones to taking cognizance at our fingertips. Unfortunately, technology has also had a wide range of negative effects on mental health.
While technology has made it much easier for people to get information, guidance, and support, there seem to be substantial concerns linked with its expanding use. With technology becoming increasingly pervasive in children's life, it's essential to think about when kids should have a phone because phone use at a young age can have lengthy consequences. Social media use among young people and adolescents, in particular, has been associated with an increase in the incidence of mental health issues.
While not all mentally ill individuals affecting young people can be attributed to technology, it is critical to recognize the large number of youngsters who are influenced by these difficulties. According to research, one in every five young people aged 13 to 18 has or will have a major mental disease before hitting puberty. Among some of the children in this group:
- 11% suffer from mood disorders.
- 10% suffer severe behavioral or conduct issues.
- 8% suffer from anxiety disorders.
Unfortunately, the impact of technology on children and teens are not only spreading to a greater number of people, but have also been established to be long-lasting. To put it into perspective, around 50% of lifelong psychological disorder cases began at the age of 14, with 75% starting by the age of 18.
How Can You Assist?
It may be practically difficult to prevent all types of technology, but it is critical to supervise your children and restrict the quantity of time they spend on media platforms or glancing at a screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours of entertainment watching television per day for toddlers and discourages children under the age of two from using any interactive media. Furthermore, while using screens to communicate with family members and loved ones may be good for only certain children and teenagers, parents must oversee this use to ensure that it is positive.
Mental illness in adolescents often go undiscovered because symptoms do not appear until adolescents are around 8 to 10 years old. As parents, it is essential that you recognize the warning signs and symptoms of mental health illnesses so that you can provide your kid the therapy they require if an issue arises. Several of the most common warning indicators in teenagers and adolescents were just as follows:
- Mood swings that seem to be extreme
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Significant changes in sleep schedules, psychological characteristics, and behavior
- Concentrating is difficult.
- Extreme anxiety or panic throughout daily tasks
- attempting to injure themselves or contemplating it
- Participating in risky acts which might endanger themselves or others
- Weight loss or growth that comes on suddenly
- Withdrawal syndrome
Even if your child does not appear to be experiencing a mental health condition but seems to be overly dependent on their smartphone or computer, it is critical that you sit at the table with them and explain the hazards of technologies. Setting these boundaries and alerting your children about potential hazards is a good way to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Create an open dialogue with your children about social media and listen to their thoughts and concerns. Is screen time beneficial to their health and well-being? Do they exhibit depressive symptoms when discussing their social media networks? In the future, try to be as vigilant as possible in terms of managing their screen time.