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Smart Phones and Its Effect on Development of Children

Smart Phones and Its Effect on Development of Children

Discover the negative impact of smartphones on children's well-being. From strained eyes to academic malpractice, learn how excessive use hinders development.

Vaishali Jagtap Assistant Professor
May, 19 2023

Smartphones were prepared as media of social communication. Most children use social media as a platform to connect with friends, and to remain updated with recent trends. Increased use of smartphones in children leads to addiction.

What are the effects of Smartphones on the Physical, Mental, and Social Development of Children?


Using a smartphone for a long time can cause digital eye strain, including symptoms like Pain, Blurred vision, Headache, dry eyes, and fatigue.

Risk of Tumours

Excessive use of the smartphone can lead to tumors due to its electronic radiation.

Disturbed Sleep Pattern

Playing games, watching videos, or just scrolling through social media can cause fatigue, restlessness, and reduced sleep time in children.

Mental Health

Studies done by the British Psychological Society have shown that even an hour spent on a smartphone can play a role in an increase in the incidence of depression and anxiety. It may also lead to the development of low self-esteem, poor quality of sleep, etc

Learning ability

The use of cell phones for a long duration can decrease the attention span of children in school, and impairment in the development of skills to learn Science and Maths can lead to a decrease in the academic performance of children. Children can also do malpractice as it is easy to find any answer at their fingertips by using smartphones.


Spending a long time on the phone and excessive eating can lead to obesity in children.

Academic Malpractice

Use of an inbuilt calculator during an examination when it is not allowed or exchanging of answers through chat during the exam, storing of reference information and photographs to cheat in the examination can lead to the poor academic performance of children and also can cause personality issues in children.

Inappropriate Media

Children may come across inappropriate text messages, images, or texts shared by friends or members of the group. Watching pornography at an early age could change their thoughts and perceptions.

Tips for Parents

  1. Do not give a cell phone to children less than 16 years of age or limit access to content that takes the child’s focus away from the studies.
  2. Teach the child what are the threats, dangers, and safety measures of social media
  3. Teach the child how to block unwanted communication
  4. Keep track of children’s activity on the phone
  5. Have clear and friendly communication about cyberbullying and harassment
  6. Limit total screen time (time spent on smartphone, laptop, television) to less than 2 hours
  7. Education and counselling on the bad effects of screen addiction.
  8. Spent time with children for recreational activities like playing indoor and outdoor games, traveling, reading good books, painting, drawing, cooking, shopping, etc
  9. Encourage quality time with your child by talking to them, sharing thoughts, socializing with others
  10. Do not use mobile phones to distract the children or to keep them occupied
  11. Restrict the use of phones by all members of the family, to avoid radiation and to set good behaviour patterns in the family.

The use of smartphones by children has become both a boon and a curse. It can be used as a great tool to study, express their creativity, and stay connected with their friends, but excessive use of it can have a negative impact on the development of children.

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