How can kids be made to read books when they see screen addiction all around?

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Consciously or subconsciously, we are glued to mobile, laptop screens and it is challenging to make the kids go on a reading spree while we remain hooked to the screens. Let’s face the bare truth and even try and find a solution

From getting up in the morning to work out music or even counting to fixing our daily reminders to working in the office, we are now dependent on technology to a large extent. Gradually, technology has become an integral part of our lives. It is now difficult to imagine our lives without it. Is there a flip side to it too? Yes, there is and that can be called the side effect of technology. It is proved that technology affects our attention span. Most of us remain connected through our smartphones or tabs. From accessing news to exchanging texts to checking social media handles to just remaining connected, technology is now paving way.

The pandemic has made technology even more relevant. But this has certainly affected our ability to pay attention and remain focussed. A glaring and thought-provoking example of this fall-out of technology are children not being able to read. Since kids are also using technology to a large extent, it’s becoming difficult for them to remain engrossed in their books. Another important factor is that they are finding the elders of their house glued to their devices and this makes it even more difficult for them to do a focussed reading. We all know how crucial it is for a kid to to be reading books but alas this is a side-effect!

How can we make kids read while we use screens and devices to work, scroll for news or information and even entertainment?

  • Accept that devices are now part of the day and do away with the guilt.
  • Children will be using the screens as well. We just need to ration it.
  • Start early the book reading in kids so that they become conditioned to it.
  • Set aside a stipulated time in the household where nobody is on screen and if the child can be encouraged to read during that time.
  • If possible, for you, pick up a book too. There will be no side effects for sure!

Does technology lead to absent-mindedness? Yes, it does. Being engrossed in technology for longer hours lead to poor responses and even absent-mindedness. Screens are addictive and this causes delay in responses, even forgetfulness and poor emotional handling. Technology in the form of internet is proving to be a big distraction. We are losing our focus and concentration which impacts the productivity to a large extent. There is a compulsive urge to check messages repeatedly or the social media accounts and this leads to loss of focus and the thought pattern. Sleep is another natural pattern which is being affected due to excessive use of internet and smartphones. Since all of us remain connected 24×7, there are lesser number of people now who are completing adequate sleep. Despite knowing the ill effects of deprivation of sleep we are unable to avoid technology’s increasing influence on our lives.

Could we do anything to conquer this side effect of technology? Certainly, since we realise that excessive usage and over-dependence of technology creates havoc on our natural responses and even sleep, we must curb the usage of technology. There is a popular 10 3 2 1 rule which clearly tells that an hour before going to sleep, we must stop using the devices. Also, during the day, if we exercise a caution on the usage of technology and the devices, the ill effects can drastically come down. It’s a matter of being mindfully utilising technology to its optimum usage without compromising on physiological functions. Afterall, technology is helping us grow and we can not be misusing it to harm us. The solution lies within us.

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