Everything in life has a dual nature- day and night, good and bad, rich and poor, health and illness. All things in the universe can be a boon (good) or a bane (bad) or in other words, a blessing or a curse. So it is with mobile phones.
Mobile phone usage is growing at a rapid rate. With smartphones, people have access to a variety of information at their fingertips. Today, the world is unimaginable without the omnipresent mobile phones. From the children aged 9 to the elderly aged 90, everyone has a smartphone now.
Before we continue, here are some cold hard facts regarding mobile phones:
- 56% of the children in the age group of 8-12 have a mobile phone
- 21% of children aged 8 years use a smartphone
- The average age of a child when he/she receive his first mobile phone is 12.
- 51% of the high school students carry their mobile phone to school every day.
- Children under 9 years spent at least 2 hours every day staring at mobile screens.
Are all the above facts for good or is mobile usage going to harm your child in a huge way? It depends on how the smartphone is used.
Mobile Phones: Boon or Bane?
Let’s start with the negatives first.
Mobile Phones: Bane
Everyone knows how harmful mobile phones can be, especially for children.
- Mobile phones emit bright blue light which harms the eye of children on prolonged exposure.
- Children get addicted to online gaming due to the use of mobile phones
- Addiction to social media is the aftermath of mobile phones usage
- Children become couch potatoes as they cling on to their mobile phones and lose the opportunity to exercise and remain fit.
- Children might be exposed to undesirable content online and it is difficult to monitor what they are doing every second.
Everything is best when used in moderation and this is the case with mobile phones. Parents and teachers must not ban, but regulate the use of mobile phones at home and at school.
At home, parents must supervise the use of mobile phones and monitor the content of the websites and apps their children are using. They should also restrict the excessive use of mobile phones by clearly defining at what times they can be used.
During examination time, children must limit time sinks like mobile phones and switch them off or hand them to the parents. At school, the use of mobile phones should be forbidden during class hours so students don’t get distracted. This is already being followed and implemented across many institutions.
Mobile Phones: Boon
Enough has been said about how mobile phones make children addicted and ruin their lives. Let us look at some positive things about mobile phone usage by children.
Here are some statistics on how parents and teachers feel about the usage of mobile phones for children.
- 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education.
- 45% of parents bought or plan to buy mobile phones to aid in their children’s education.
- 68% of parents feel that mobile phones can teach children how to read.
- 57% of parents feel that mobile phones help children in doing maths.
- 32% of parents feel that mobile phones should be used in the classroom.
- 62% of parents feel that mobile phones promote children’s education
- 86% of school principals feel that it is important for students to use mobile phones for their school work.
- 71% of teachers use online educational apps for teaching.
- 64% of teachers use educational websites for teaching.
Apart from this, mobile phones help parents and teachers to access children at all times with a call. Students can also call their parents in case of an emergency, thus ensuring their safety.
All the above just proves that most parents and teachers feel that mobile phones can be a blessing. However, they have to be used in a productive manner by children to enhance their knowledge.
Should Children Use Mobile Phones or Not?
There’s no right answer to this question as it depends on how the phones are used. Instead of wasting time playing online games or posting on social media, children must optimise their use of mobile phones by amassing knowledge and enriching their talent. This will make mobile phones a boon for all children.
What are the ways in which mobile phones can be used productively by children?
Academically, children can use mobile phones to:
- Expand their knowledge
- Improve their English skills as a majority of language online is in English
- Improve their vocabulary
- Strengthen their mathematical ability
- Understand science concepts
- Improve their creativity
- Download educational apps
- Improve their dexterity and reflexes
If you’re deciding whether you should get your child a smartphone, remember that mobile phones are not all bad. Of course, kids will have fun with them, but they can still be used for educational purposes. Students can use mobile phones to practice their academic lessons and test themselves using online practice learning sites such as LetsPractise.
LetsPractise has an extensive knowledge base comprising of practice questions, worksheets, test papers and revision papers for classes from Class I to X for all boards like IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE, State Board, etc. Check out our interactive learning plans to see what we have to offer and contact us for more.
Here at LetsPractise, the education and welfare of children is our top priority. We aim to enrich the lives of children by enhancing their scholastic skills and also guide them on the path to success.
Follow our blog for more such enlightening topics.
Making mobile phones a boon or a bane is in our hands. You can make the merits outweigh the demerits. Let us teach children to use mobile phones consciously for the right purpose to upgrade their lives.