Rifat Zafreen: Moni exclaims excitedly that, her 11 month old baby can operate smart phone – she can sort out games and any comic characters in the I-phone touch screen. Moni’s husband is also very delighted about his daughter’s smart phone related delighted talent!
This couple is not the only one. It is now almost a trend amongst the most high middle class families where children under 5 are engrossed in handling and using e-devices like Smartphone Tablet PC and Laptop for e-entertainment. Whereas the scientists tell us a different story which needs to be taken seriously.
Too much exposure to digital devices at an early age has now become a concern for the research scientists and the parents around the Globe. Children are gradually becoming addicted to electronic entertainments and as after effect they are developing a conditional behavioral syndrome often with negative impacts. Even using tablets and smart phones at a very early stage of life could hinder children’s learning practice and speech development. This unnecessary use of technologies make our children grow with poor language apprehension and mental fixation, though some parents sometimes believe e-games are educational which can help child’s development.
Now a days e-devices have become household appliances globally, especially in the urban educated homes. From radio, TV to mobile phones, its realm has reached into children’s gaming tools, which doesn`t fit with child mannerism. This frequent use of e-devices is destroying the very child like behavior. It has been found out that the average age of children using touch screens is 11 month and the span of use is half an hour per day. Thus their engagement with the e-devices is appearing sinister and even cultish. Because of this use with loosing the charm of childhood days, children are also becoming subject to neglect. Moreover it makes the children deprived of natural love that their prototype medicinal growth in a tech-savvy situation has become a serious issue of worry and concern. No doubt, the children are growing up in a plenty of radio-frequency radiation which has never existed in human history. This may imperil the infant’s young brain as it is harmed by the phone’s pulsed digital microwave radiation. This constant exposure to radio-active pulses thus damages the neuro-cells which may even cause brain cancer. Similarly the exposure to ultra violet rays and signals, come from the i-phones or i-pods may cause visual impairment and eye-sight and audio difficulties for the children.
Moreover, their isolated growth in such an environment with excessive use of e-devices and e-entertainment may cause threat to the social integration of the children. These kids may ultimately result in to developing a non sharing tendency and also a tendency of not sharing the established social norms and values. This surely may cause cultural shock and diffusion of the tech-savvy generation that we are rearing up. These kids thus may even develop a trend to be less friendly to others and finally to the family members which may ultimately result steep siblings rivalry.
In order to protect our children, our future generation, parents, family members, scientists, the biophysicists in particular, policy makers in tech-savvy nations and the society at large need to be more involved with real seriousness. We should not forget, mobile phones are just one of the sources of microwave radiation exposure. Our future generation needs to be protected from being intellectually crippled and for that, we have to think about the wide spread use of e-devices by our toddlers. Government along with BTRC and the other stakeholders related to this sector should come up with some policy guidelines to control these invisible threats and resist the abuse of mobile phones by the youngsters. The regulators can initiate an effective mass campaign in this regard through mass media as mass media can play a very vital role regarding. Its powerful impact can be exploited in creating and increasing our awareness in stopping our children from using e-devices so extensively. Print media can publish feature, articles on this issue in order to knock our conscience. Teachers the issue can talk about the danger of using e-devices by the children hugely so that the little ones could resist them and also their younger brothers and sisters from using these e-devils. Above all, consciousness at the family level should be encouraged. We cannot forget-we have to build up a healthy nation as a whole with our healthy children, not with an individual entity alone.
It would be completely unwise not to guard the long run interest of the kids for the temporary and apparent smartness of the very young generation. In fact, ‘smart phone’ does not make kids smart mentally and physically, rather its extensive use during their grown-up period can play a real role of e-devil in disguise which they take for their e-entertainment.