Is Too Much Screen Time a Problem?7 minute
TV is a great resource for everything from news and entertainment, to education and exercise. But many people spend too much time in front of the screen. Studies show that the average person spends eleven hours per day looking at a screen - more than half of their waking hours! This amounts to two full months of the year in front of screens alone. So, how much TV or screen time children should be allowed? Is there a certain amount that's too much? The answer to this question is different for every child and family.
Television may be a great escape from the stresses of everyday life. It can provide an opportunity to unwind and relax in front of the TV after a hard day. Though it may be tempting to watch your favourite show for hours at a time, you should remember the other effects TV has to offer. For children and teens, too much television time can have negative effects on physical activity and academic performance. what about kids in general? What are the pros and cons of having more or less screen time? This article will explore the pros and cons of too much tv/screen time so you can decide how much is right for your family.
1. Better imaginative skills
Children's imaginative abilities can be improved by learning through better visuals and sounds. It helps kids better recognise colours and, in some ways, helps them envision by exposing children to TV regularly. At a young age, one cannot engage in art or greater aesthetics. One should be exposed to things in such a way that they can learn from them without actually feeling they are learning something. All you have to do as a parent is keep an eye on what your children watch while they are young. There's a potential they'll develop aggressive behaviour if they are being exposed to something violent regularly
2. Cultured through TV
It is not always the case that you travel with your children to different countries to teach them about diverse cultures around the world. It's easy to read books to learn about one's culture, but it's tough to visualise people from all over the world carrying out different customs and traditions. As you know, TV is a form of exposure to other cultures. The more we expose our children to the world, the more they will be able to understand and appreciate it. But it's not just about understanding. It's more about developing a habit to understand others without any prejudice. Also, if you are an immigrant in any country and you want to keep your children in touch with your home country, then, ask your child to watch Tv. It aids your children in recognising your past and helps them to feel attached to their ancestors.
3. Study a language
I used to watch a lot of cartoons and television series that wasn't in my mother tongue when I was a kid. I was more interested as a kid in how the animation progressed than in the sentence structure of that particular cartoon. I now know all of the languages I've seen on television without having to 'study' them as adults do. You’ve probably heard that it’s important to expose your kids to different languages early on. Research has shown that infants who are exposed to other languages early on show a greater ability to learn languages later in life. You can start by exposing them to different languages through TV shows and movies. Your children, like me, may learn to understand new words from foreign languages simply by viewing them on television. There's no need to study it.
4. Inspiration to do something
Television may inspire your children to try new things - like trying out a different language or playing an instrument. You or your children may be inspired to attempt new activities as a result of watching television. When children encounter their favourite shows or Tv stars participating in activities that they have never tried before, they are more likely to want to try it too! Let's say, if the character brushes every night and sleeps to bed reading, Your kids might want to try that too. This could lead to greater “off-the-grid” schooling. Essentially, the more children are exposed to something, the greater their desire to begin doing it themselves. As I already stated, just make sure kids aren't seeing anything that encourages destructive behaviour.
1. Aggressive behaviour
One study found that watching tv for an extended period can make kids more unsupervised. In other words, kids who watch a lot of TVs tend to play alone. In contrast, kids who spend more time outside and play with other children are less likely to spend time alone. In this study, some kids watched three or four hours of tv per day while others watched an average of two hours. Researchers found that when children spent more time watching tv, they were less likely to play with others and more likely to be aggressive.
2. Mental problems
From lack of sleep and academic struggles to moodiness and impulsiveness, poor health can be associated with too much tv/screen time. For instance, people who have poor sleep quality are more likely to be frustrated and have more difficulty regulating their emotions. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, more than 15% of children in the US have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and 75% of those children have a family history of it. Many experts believe many factors can cause anxiety and other mental health problems, including too much screen time. While television has been implicated in the development of mental health issues, spending hours in front of the screen is not the only culprit.
From losing sight to squinting & eye strain, technology-related eye problems are on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vision problems (such as dry eye, tunnel vision, headaches, tiredness, and eye strain) are at an all-time high among Americans but it's not just about Americans. Anybody who has a huge record of screen time is at risk of deteriorating their vision. Doctors say kids are especially susceptible to these problems because of how much they watch tv/screen time.
4. Develops laziness
TV/Screen time can prevent older children from learning, exercise, and creativity. You want your child to be active and develop both physical and social skills. You want your children to learn and develop from positive experiences and interactions with others. Studies have shown that this is the ideal time to encourage children's developmental skills by encouraging them to play. If your child is watching tv or playing on the iPad too much, chances are that he's not engaging in enough outdoor activities or active play. Also, with screen time comes less physical activity, eating junk food, or having nutritious snacks. All of these things add up to a child's unhealthy habits as he grows older.
5. Risk of childhood obesity
Children who watch too much tv may be at a greater risk of obesity. Research has shown a link between excessive TV viewing and weight gain in children. What this means is that children who watch more than 3 hours a day have a higher chance of having excess weight and a higher risk for childhood obesity. TV and computer screens are filling a growing number of children's daily hours, so they're very likely to be sedentary at school too. More time in front of the tv means less time for physical activity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is a major health risk, especially in children. Kids who are obese are at greater risk for many health problems including diabetes, asthma, heart disease, liver disease, and cancer. Being physically active helps kids fight these health risks.
6. Difficulty falling asleep
An hour per day of television can be considered beneficial for the beginning of a child's bedtime routine. However, even one extra hour a day of television can negatively impact your child's quality of sleep. Children who don't sleep through the night due to television viewing tend to have decreased sleep quality, are less likely to fall asleep at night or to take regular naps.
7. Decreased attention span
Excessive tv watching also has the potential to cause an imbalance of attention. Many children who watch too much tv have what's known as short attention spans. For children that watch a lot of television, the length of time spent focused on a task before getting distracted is usually relatively short. It's critical for anyone to develop high concentration ability early in life, and you don't want your child to start losing it even before he begins to develop.
8. Effect on academics
Too much tv/screen time can negatively impact a child's school performance, which can have a negative impact on his or her future. Research shows that frequent tv viewing decreases attentiveness and academic achievement. Kids with a television in the bedroom are less likely to get an adequate amount of sleep, which affects their studies at school. You kids might either end up napping in the class or daydreaming about something.
9. Less sociable
Studies have shown that too much screen time in TV and computer screens can cause you to spend more time sitting and less time exercising, talking with your family, sleeping, and overall spending time with your children. They're a very sedentary form of entertainment. Your child might grow up to be a person who has trouble expressing himself or understanding individuals who aren't related to him. If you want your child to develop socially, but he refuses to turn off the television, what can you do? Suggest he contacts his buddies and asks them to come over. Allow them to watch TV together. It's always better to go see things with a group, as this helps him create positive relationships with his peers.
Though there are also some benefits to watching television. Like I have stated in above points that it provides a form of entertainment & it teaches us about different cultures. It informs us about current events and it's also making some people to use it as a way to socialize with friends but its negative effects weigh more than its positive effects. Better to discipline your children now than later