Do You and Your Child Have Digital Addiction?

What’s the one thing your kids can’t live without? The ideal answer is your love, but truth be told, when children are asked in surveys, the answer would most likely be some form of gadget. Digital addiction has become, more than ever in the history of humankind, much more rampant these days. Your kids have it. You have it. We all have it. The question is, will you still be able to function without your gadgets, and will you be strong enough to help curb your child’s digital addiction?

Baby and Breakfast: Parenting Digital Addiction is Becoming a Real Thing (for Both Parents and Kids)

 

The World Health Organization has recently decided to recognize gaming disorders as a real problem, which just means that they are also taking digital addiction more seriously. As parents, it’s our job to recognize the warning signs in our children before their addiction latches on even more strongly into their young psyches. However, when we ourselves are afflicted with it, shaking if off becomes doubly hard. According to the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, you can always spot a digital addict, and some of the signs are the following:

 

Losing track of time.

Digital addicts tend to lose track of time when online, to the point of sacrificing sleep hours just to stay glued to their gadgets. Since they are highly invested mentally in what they are seeing on their screens, interrupting them to say, get ready for bed or go to Church becomes a cause of agitation for them. They become irritable when you ask them to put their gadget away, or just to even pause a video they’re watching.

 

Preferring to spend time online instead of engaging in human interactions.

Digital addicts prefer to spend their hours online or playing their games instead of actual human connections. They can’t even just sit and eat anymore and discuss how their day went! Instead, they have to still digest videos as they digest their food. It’s as if food has become merely secondary to what’s happening online or in their game.

 

Losing interest in normal activities.

Digital addicts appear to have lost interest in their normal physical activities, and are instead way more interested in spending time on their gadgets. Compare your childhood to the childhood your kids have now. Do they even know how to play hopscotch, ice-ice water, bahay kubo, etc.?

 

Having constant FOMO.

Digital Addicts have such a big fear of missing out; hence, the constant checking of emails, status posts, etc. It’s as if you just have to check if someone liked your recent post or else you are no longer seemingly relevant.

 

Choosing to hang on to gadgets, even in dangerous situations.

Digital Addicts choose to still hang on to their gadget addiction, even if it can be dangerous or life-threatening. This is why gadgets play a big part in numerous vehicular accidents, because the driver just couldn’t afford not to check his or her status.

 

These are just some of the attributes of a Digital Addict, but the question is, how does this reflect on and affect your family life? When both the parent and the child are way too glued for comfort, who remains the voice of reason to ask everyone else to put their phones or consoles down, and have an actual eye-to-eye conversation?

Truth be told, it isn’t entirely our fault we got hooked. Notice how websites always use sneaky and hardly noticeable techniques to keep us logging on? We stay on social media sites to check how many likes our posts of our kids received. We use the internet to do more of our shopping now. And of course, our children are hooked on to quick clicks for their videos and games.

However, compared to other forms of addiction, it is relatively easier to spot a digital addict. If a person is noticeably more anxious because of the frequency of use or in contrast, the absence of it, then you've got yourself a person who needs an intervention and some help.

Do you remember the last time you went out of the house and realized that you’ve left your phone? That feeling of panic, of wanting to do a quick U-turn to grab it before you proceed with your day, and knowing that your life simply could not function without that phone in your hand is enough to cause your stress level to skyrocket.

That being said, consciously living a non-digital life as best you can is easier said than done, especially since we know that technology is definitely here to stay. Perhaps the best way to do it is to remind yourself of the motivations for trying it out once in a while.

For example, instead of letting your toddler sit in front of the TV or his tablet to watch stories unfold, bring back the good ol’ bedtime stories care of Mommy and Daddy. Not only is this good bonding time for you, the exercise allows your child’s cognitive muscles to get a work out.

Digital methods train the brain to be lazy, as pictures and words are already fed into your system. This just shows that there are definitely some things best left unplugged, and there can only be more good than harm done if you incorporate some off-screen time for yourself and your family.

 

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