HAS PANDEMIC EVOLVED OUR MOBILE PHONE USAGE?

The pandemic would leave but its effects won’t. COVID’19 has brought a big shift in people’s behaviors particularly, their usage of technology.

Almost 70 percent of the people, in a worldwide survey, reported that they were using cell phones more during the pandemic. Many report excessive social media usage and some have a leap on gaming. It is also the result of increased reliance on devices for work and studies.

 But whatever it is, an increased screen time is affecting the population in many negative ways.

Let us find out what changes, unintentionally and without realizing much, we have incorporated into our daily lives.

What Does Research Say About Rising Cell Phone Usage?

A survey done in the US brings forward some results that are

‘54 percent of the participants reported that they are using more internet during pandemic’

Out of them

  • 37 percent reported they are using it for texting
  • 36 percent said they were using more social media
  • 32 percent reported more video calling
  • 23 percent of the people said they were using more shopping apps

Data reveals that people are using more time for texting and social media just to kill time. This idea was endorsed by a report by Facebook that reported an average of 70 percent rise in its usage by March 2020. Likewise, a report published in New York Times accounted for a 79 percent increase in house party group video calling.

There is no denying that survival without smartphones would have been very difficult during our confinements at home. But researchers and psychologists having a clear account of the needs of the human body and mind are still pondering upon the questions

‘Is it impossible to spend quality time without smartphones, tablets, and other devices?’

‘Why is it important to manage a balanced and responsible usage of screens?’

Even when the lockdown is relaxed, we see people depending a lot on the same ways of communication and entertainment. So, we must address the above questions to understand the importance of a balanced life. The following points would cover these concerns.     

The Impacts of Spending Excessive Time on Screens on Children 

No one is unaware of the psychological and cognitive disturbances that over-usage of screens impart on us. We would talk more about the personalities that children are shaped into as a result of their own and their role model’s usage of devices.

A child needs attention and affection to grow and thrive as a child psychologist, Yolaine Forester says. That needs should be fulfilled at home in the very first place else wise, can bring a lack in a child’s personality.

But guess what a review published in a journal, ‘Computer in Human Behavior’ says,

‘Parents with excessive phone usage are less sensitive and forthcoming to child’s need for attention that leads to poor quality parent-child time and relationships’

Likewise, the review stated that parents who used their devices within a limit, maintaining a balance in their lives, are better off at parenting results. Thus, now we know it is important to reduce this usage both by parents and children.

Here, we will have to review the usage of smartphones by children as well. Research published in the ‘healthcare’ journal in 2021 said that 67.5 percent of the children under five years of age are daily exposed to devices like tablets and smartphones and the percentage goes up with age.

Psychologists have found that this usage is directly related to the underdevelopment of cognitive abilities. And this is why we need to manage a limited and responsible usage of smartphones.

Conclusion 

Excessive usage of screens both, for parents and children, is harmful. And the most affected population is children who bear the impact of both. Cell phone monitoring becomes one of the biggest demands thus.

The change in our screen usage habits that we call evolution should more precisely be termed as devolution. While it is making us addicted to the devices, we are also unable to find time for our children’s cell phone monitoring.

So, let us start from the very beginning, bring a balance to our lives, and then make our children learn from us.

A smart way is to use a parental control app, such as FamilyTime, to manage your child’s routine most effectively. It allows you to be your child’s virtual companion all the time giving them the sense of belongingness, attention, and love; their very basic needs.

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