Adolescence during the epidemic: they cling to the screen

Teenagers and children who shut down at home during the pandemic period experience screen addiction.

Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine, Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Prof. Dr. Burak Doğangün talked about the striking examples he encountered.


Doğangün said, “New developments and technology have a great contribution to human beings. However, the dose of everything matters. Looks like a bit of a dose here. The children we call Generation Z were born into technology. So they were born on the screen. It is important that we, adults, understand their needs and be able to create a common language. But not everything that children say I enjoy is not for their benefit. If we leave our children in front of the screen uncontrolled, there will be harmful situations for the future.


We see that children who are faced with a lot of screens develop an addiction such as substance addiction after a period and cannot return to normal life and social communication without that screen, play. This bilateral relationship with the screen and games or the interaction in the virtual world seriously disrupts both relationships and responsibilities in daily life after a while. From this point of view, I think that the burden of that screen may have negative effects both physically, in terms of exposure to radioactivity and spiritual and social interaction.


The criteria for addiction have changed. Previously, we used to be in front of the screen for 4-8 hours a day as a criterion, but today the situation is very different. Now, training, bilateral talks and even our psychiatric therapies are provided on the screen. Children are on the screen for almost 6 hours a day due to school. In this sense, the numbers would be misleading. That screen time has increased much more now, “he said.


Stating that duration is not the only criterion of addiction, Doğangün said, “Most of the time, parents call, but the children do not hear. It can take 3-5 minutes by saying a little, soon. At that moment, there is a deterioration in the perception of time. “But he is not aware that 3 hours have passed. There is a child who does not go to the toilet. There is a teenager in his room who wants to make a diaper like a baby. There are children who come with such requests in order not to be separated from the screen even for 5 minutes,” he said.

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