Children who are busy playing online games for hours have developed a tendency to forget until lunch and dinner. Online games are making children irritable and aggressive too. Most parents notice this when it is too late. So, it is a concern that online gaming addiction is growing among children and teenagers. This addiction increases most in children between 9 to 18 years. Let’s discuss internet gaming, a virtual world finally addicting the youth nowadays.
Internet gaming, a virtual world, is finally addicting the youth.
A study conducted during the lockdown revealed that the risk of developing depression and anxiety among children has increased because of online education. An analysis of mental health reports of over 2000 school students revealed this during the corona pandemic in Canada.
Mobile and Internet technology has given us many facilities and made life easier. Especially in the lockdown, children’s education is going on with its help. But there is also another aspect of this online technology that is very serious and deadly. You may call it internet gaming addiction.
Especially, young children fall in its range. They get most infatuated by such command-oriented games and graphics features. They keep playing non-stop to go a level up day and night. The parents think the child is studying on the mobile, but they remain lost in another world. If you, parents, do not wake up on time, you may lose your kids.
Exciting online games on the internet are taking over the mind and hearts of children. In the ever-changing world with colorful themes and music combinations, the thrill of every moment is now attracting the child to the virtual world. This kind of addiction in youth is finally turning into depression.
Canadian scientists have concluded this in their recent research. Children studying online instead of sitting in the classroom are at increased risk of depression and anxiety. Also, eyeing TV and excessive online game during the Corona period is causing depression and behavioral issues in juniors between 9 and 18. Children suffering from mobile addiction are becoming irritable and aggressive. Such addicted youths are becoming a problem for their parents.
The link between children’s mental health and digital screens
Experts from Hospital for Sick Children, Canada, explored a direct connection of a digital screen with children’s mental health. They talked to the parents of roughly 2 thousand students and made a report of the mental condition of each child during the Corona period. They aged between 9 and 18 years. The number of boys and girls was equal among the children in the research.
On average, 12 to 18-year-olds have an increased risk of depression and anxiety because of online learning. Besides, watching more TV, playing online games, and video chatting have also raised mental illness. Children cannot concentrate for a long time because of poor mental health. It is a growing problem.
According to scientists, this problem is not only in young children. Children in the age group of 2 to 4 years are also vulnerable to behavioral problems because of excessive TV and digital screen use. Research has also found that social isolation has harmed children’s mental health during a lockdown.
Apart from this,
- sleep disturbances,
- lack of physical activity,
- stressful news,
- being victims of cyberbullying
Are also important reasons for children’s deteriorating mental health.
How to keep your children away from digital screens & mental illnesses? As internet gaming is making the youth addicted to its virtual world.
1. Use Parental Controls on the device.
You can use the parental control setting on your mobile or computer to keep children away from it. With this, your child will only be able to see the screen for a limited time. Also, it will block the apps which are not of their use. Apart from this, you can also install another app to keep child activity under control.
Parents also should not use mobile at home a great because the child learns what you do. Apart from this, most parents get busy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or WhatsApp at home. Thus, parents should also ensure no mobile interference in family time.
2. Talk to the Kids from time to time.
Children think they are the heroes of their virtual world. The people surrounding them are nothing. In their quest to become the hero of the virtual world, they get away from real life. There have been many cases when children lock themselves in the rooms and do not even talk to anyone. Parents too often get so busy in life that they forget to give time to their children.
So, be a support to your children in times of the pandemic. Try to know and understand what is on their mind. Find solutions to their problems so that they don’t get stressed. Besides, keep your children without a screen for 4 to 5 hours a day to test. If they don’t steer bored, it means no addiction they have. If it is not, there is an unpleasant smell of mobile addiction. You must know about it and worry.
3. Don’t be ignorant about emerging technology.
Be aware of what websites your child visits, the games they play, what social media platforms they use. It will enable you to understand if they have any problems in the present. If children are young, be sure to read the website’s age restriction guidelines. Talk to them about minor social issues and share your childhood days with them.
If you are from a rural setting, take them to the village once a month and introduce them to the people there. Children need the most love and care of their parents. In such a situation, spend enough time with the child. All with this, your child will only use the mobile for some influential work. Attract your child towards nature. You can engage them by joining painting, yoga, music, and other classes as per their hobby.
4. Limit Kids’ Screen Time.
Children night and day play online video games in a race to beat each other. They do not even know when a ten-minute play turns into an hour or two hours. It is where gaming addiction starts. After some time, it becomes a massive threat to the development of growing children. That is how internet gaming, a virtual world, is finally addicting the youth.
Schools remain closed in lockdown, and online classes have been going on. Because of this, mobile and laptops have come into children’s hands. But now its side effects are also visible. Children are playing games along with studying on the internet. Parents are unaware that children attend online classes or watch something else on the screen. Of course, it affects their behavior and is a matter of concern. Parents should deal with it.
5. Share some of your experiences with juniors.
Children cannot sleep well because of homework, activities, and spending time on their PCs. To keep the body healthy, they should sleep for at least 8 hours every day. By sleeping well, children feel restricted from using the phone for a long time. Sleeping calms the mind and body. Besides, mental health also improves.
Also, your friends and family members play the most prominent role in reducing stress. So always stay connected with your friends and relatives and share your things with them. Be friends with children and share some of your old stories with them. Guide them to see only valuable information and spend limited time on mobile screens.
As you can see, internet gaming is making the youth crazy about its virtual world, hence WHO has set some guidelines. According to WHO, children aged 2 to 5 years should not watch screens for more than an hour a day. Children younger than three years should not watch any screen, including TV.
Children prefer to live in the virtual world.
Because of the mobiles in children’s hands, they prefer to live in the virtual world rather than the real world, where there is no fear of rejection. The pressure remains a little less, and fresh adventures make them used to it. They seem to like it. The things children see in virtual games try to bring them somewhere in the real world. Because of this, their thinking becomes a little aggressive. As a result, it may turn into criminal activities.
Children are searching for their existence in the virtual world.
Nowadays, Children make themselves engaged in creating a virtual reality of their own. We live in a society where relatives, brothers, and sisters all live together in the family. But today, despite everyone, all are busy with their mobiles. Because of this, children become friendless, adopt their virtual world.
They can represent themselves here and switch buttons on or off when they feel like it. That is impossible in real life. Psychologists say that once a child gets addicted to internet games, it becomes difficult to live without them. The child gets accustomed to it, sometimes becomes aggressive when the parent interrupts.
In such a condition, do not scold or beat up the youngsters. By doing this, they will become more stubborn and violent. This internet gaming is finally addicting the youth nowadays, so you have to be calm and deal with them. Addiction to online mobile games is such that it forces children to see the universe with their own eyes. So, if you stop them, they will think you are their enemy.
Remember, no matter what the addiction is, it goes away bit by bit. The only way to deal with it is love, patience, and understanding. According to a study, Internet gaming disorder is common in children and youth between 9 and 18. Online gaming addiction is more common in Asian countries than in Europe. The World Health Organization declared it a mental health disorder in June 2018.
The American Psychological Association is studying the increasing cases of internet gaming addiction. That is why they have not included it in the list of diseases so far. Yet, given the rapid increase in the number of internet gaming addiction cases worldwide, experts fear it may soon achieve a disease’s status.