The impact of the digital world on children

Parents are worried that children will spend a long time in front of the screen during the pandemic. What is your comment on this issue?

With the contribution of online education, children spend at least five to six hours a day in front of the screen. If we add the time you spend in the game and on social media, these periods extend. To maintain a balance in children’s lives, it would be good to play board games where the whole family can participate more often and to plan different activities to relax the children. For screen addiction in children, parents’ behavior should be investigated first. Because the role models that children first see are their families, parents need to be sensitive and exemplary to their children.

How do we know if our child is addicted to the screen?

If the screen affects the child’s social relations, if there is a significant decrease in interest in the environment, if social activity is less than before, if the child spends unlimited time in front of the screens, we can talk about screen addiction when we feel tired and sleepless.

Exposure to screens from an early age, the use of the screen as a distraction for children, and, of course, the interesting content that screens give us, can increase the sensitivity to screen addiction and cause some problems in the future. Children who constantly look at the screen during the developmental process may weaken their connections in real life over time and have difficulty observing changes in real life. However, these people are more likely to be screen-related individuals in the future.

Children benefit when they focus their growing use of technology on useful activities with the pandemic, learning different projects and new programs. However, the use of tablets, computers, and playtime outside of training hours should be limited; The duration of the game should be a maximum of 45 minutes or an hour.

Which games should I choose?

There are apps where we can track which site or which app the kids are in, but it says ‘websites can be leaked to the screen’. How can we ensure the safety of our children in the digital world?

When we leave children alone, they can use the content they want to consume without a filter. Advertising is usually a source of revenue for free services (games, applications, etc.). Kids can switch from an innocent auto racing game to a zombie game by clicking on an ad; You may encounter violent and scary advertising videos. They can go to betting sites or open sites with one click; Therefore, we face an open situation. To meet your child’s play needs in a healthy way, offer them games that meet the following characteristics:

Without advertising

There is no violence and no fear

Do not set an example for negative behavior

No online contact with other players

Used licensed if possible

Trust in the public sphere

Recommended by a well-known (trusted) publisher

Allow them to play these and similar games for a certain amount of time during the day, depending on their age. There is also very useful content for children on YouTube. In addition, there is some content that children should never watch; For this reason, it would be safer to create a specific playlist or select popular videos with a ‘YouTube premium’ membership.

Parents fear that their children will not be safe in the digital space. Should these concerns be explained to children? If we expect children to be honest with us, should we be honest with them? Or does it scare children to talk about our worries?

Here are some things you can do:

Encourage your children to let you know when something online or someone is bothering or threatening them. If this happens to you, be calm and remind your child to let you know. Evaluate your child’s behavior and encourage him or her to come back to you if the same thing happens again.

You make an effort and set rules to protect your children from all these life threats. Similarly, you can minimize the risks of the virtual world by learning to use the Internet consciously, safely and effectively, and by teaching it to children. In this way, you can give your children the opportunity to contribute to education, communication and a good time.

Always keep in touch with your child. If you are not an influential parent who constantly shakes and does not put pressure on the child, he will share more with you. If your child is comfortable approaching you in a suspicious situation, you will be aware of possible dangers in advance.

Explain to your child the difference between dream and reality. Explain that you should not be afraid of horrible / ugly images that may appear on the Internet and cover content that you do not like.

Tell them that apps that allow them to communicate with others by voice or text are not suitable for them. Teach him that the Internet is no different from normal life, just as he knows that he should not talk to strangers on the street. Remind someone who is able to communicate with him on the Internet that he should share the situation with you without answering.

Use family filters and security software. Configure your browser’s sensitive security settings. Filter out fear, violence, obscene content. Once you’ve done that, stay in control. Get in touch with your child and think about what he or she is doing online. When you ask him to teach you, he will gladly do so. Because children often enjoy teaching adults.

Do not ignore the wishes and needs of your child. Instead of banning it, set a daily usage time and provide it with trusted content. Evaluate each new game you want to download. When you want to watch a video, determine which program you will watch. Do the necessary research and provide reliable content.

Families should be told that it is wrong for their children to download any documents (such as music, photo documents, and computer games) without their permission, and that viruses and spyware can infect their computers. Ask your ISP to activate the child and family security package. Look at the websites your child visits. Block age-inappropriate websites with the help of a website blocker program.

Does the application of such technology affect the psychology of children during a pandemic?

There are some negative social, emotional and psychological effects of spending time on the screen, tablet and computer all the time. Children begin to have difficulty in relationships with peers, communication skills are weakened. The main problem of this generation, which grew up on the screen from a young age, is self-confidence in human communication. They avoid social interaction by talking face to face. Instead, children who always prefer screen heads lose the opportunity to learn socially. The new generation does not want to gain experience by observing in a social environment. Screen addiction has increased dramatically, thanks to its interests and advantages in this area, and especially due to the pandemic. As a result, behaviors and attitudes such as low self-esteem, fragile personality, anger and aggression, and suspicion have become widespread.

What can we do to prevent or reduce these effects?

Keep track of how much time your child spends online, what sites they visit, and what games they play. Because negative content makes them more nervous and aggressive and increases their fears. Therefore, always observe how the use of the Internet and the screen affects your child psychologically and physiologically when he is aggressive, impulsive, careless or pessimistic, when your friends and family relationships deteriorate, when he cannot calm down without a tablet or computer. show signs of deprivation, always put it on for a while and stop overusing it. If it is difficult, get expert support.

In addition, in real lessons, spend quality time with your child outside of online lessons. Play family games at home. I especially recommend vocabulary, story games, and emotional expression exercises that strengthen communication skills. Take a walk outside the house and take part in sports / art events. Spend quality time with your child in real life. By paying attention to these recommendations, families can protect their children from cyberbullying, strangers, Internet addiction, malicious sites, sexual content, and psychological and physiological diseases.

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