Screen addiction warning in children in the pandemic

gave | Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – 13:44 | Last Updated: 25 05 2021 – 13:44

Karadeniz Technical University (KTU) Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department faculty member Dr. Çilem Bilgi said, “It has been shown that the stress associated with Covid-19 significantly increases the use of social media and the time spent in front of television. In other words, screens and the internet have become a means of soothing people ”.

KTU Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Diseases Department Faculty Member Dr. Çilem Bilgi noted that while the Covid-19 pandemic changed many orders in human life, the change in children’s lives was alarming. Stating that the time spent on the computer and the internet before the epidemic was broken, Dr. Çilem Bilginer said, “Children have become handed over to listening to lectures on the screen for a long time, indirectly using uncontrolled internet, by the hands of their parents. In this process, many factors such as uncertainty, changing order in the home, working life of the parents, sleep / wake cycle, decreased physical activity, changes in eating patterns or contamination anxiety related to the disease, loss of relatives, new anxieties that occur by negatively affecting the mental health of the child, new behavioral problems. revealed. It was observed that children who had problems such as ‘Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder’ before the pandemic had more difficulties in adapting to distance education and increased use of problematic technology, ”he said.

Pointing out that the most complaint of families in the applications made to the polyclinic is technology addiction, along with the types of addiction such as internet, digital games, online shopping, social media and smart phone use, Bilginer said, “Especially in adolescence who prefers role-play or sniper-style games. “We know that boys at their age and children who have low academic success, socially isolated, have no friends, and do not have leisure time activities are more risky.”


Bilginer stated that due to the pandemic, the time spent on the internet has increased all over the world, “In the first period when a stay-at-home call was made and restrictions took place, it was determined that online gaming activity increased by 75 percent in America. Studies on internet addiction have shown that addiction rates increased from 3 percent to 14 percent within the same geography. In a large-scale survey conducted during the pandemic process, approximately 50 percent of the participants stated that screen usage was moderate; 15 percent reported that it increased in an uncontrollable manner. On the other hand, Covid-19-related stress has been shown to significantly increase social media use and time spent in front of television. Screens and the internet have become a means of soothing people. “This situation poses a great risk for children who are developing and maturing socially and emotionally.”


Stating that the new young generation, defined as ‘Z’ and ‘Alpha Generation’, does not know a life without internet, Bilginer said, “It would not be the right behavior to completely isolate these children from technological developments and to create an environment of conflict with sentences that start as” in our time “. However, for a healthy emotional and behavioral development and even a healthy physical development, I invite all families to follow scientific guidelines first. Otherwise, a screen addicted generation awaits us. Set an example for your children for a healthy generation, determine the media rules that everyone will follow at home. For example; “Turn off all media at mealtime, bedtime, parent-child play time, say goodbye to your phones for a while,” he said.

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