Text by Zahaan Sabuwala
Over the years, technology has supported society in numerous ways; from creating employment opportunities, to electronically buying or selling products. However, it does have some drawbacks. Technology has provided young minds with a platform for online activity, which they perceive as entertainment. However, it is negatively impacting their behaviour and inflicting emotional pain upon them, which they are oblivious to.
According to healthcare.utah.edu, adolescents are incredibly likely to get addicted and overly involved with video games, which can have multiple negative impacts on their psychological behaviour and well-being. Because of technological devices, this problem is evident everywhere in the world as youths can communicate and game with others in any part of the world.
1. Health Issues
Firstly, due to the addictive nature of present-day video games, young people are continuously playing for hours. Due to the long hours, they spend on gaming; they tend to procrastinate on their productive work such as exercising, which translates into numerous health issues. Playing video games at length can weaken one’s muscles and joints and make one’s fingers numb due to overexertion. Several studies suggest that it can even undermine one’s eyesight! For example, based on a news report published on June 11th, 2018,
a 15-year-old teenager was hospitalized and diagnosed with “internet gaming addiction.” He refused to go to school because of his desire to play a video game called “Fortnite.” Moreover, due to the inappropriate content being showcased in today’s games, video-induced seizures, and postural, muscular and skeletal disorders are commonly seen. As a result of the violence and brutality portrayed on the screens, young minds commonly encounter disorders such as tendonitis, nerve compression, and carpal tunnel syndrome, according to raisesmartkids.com. The World Health Organization (WHO), declared gaming addiction as a mental health disorder.
2. Exposure to Incorrect Values and Aggressive Behaviour
In addition to health issues, video games pose to young minds; gaming has the ability to expose one to incorrect values. Excessive violence, over-the-top sexuality, profanity, and racism are just some of the aspects that should not be witnessed by children. They might be encouraged and motivated by the games to depict the same behaviour in their daily lives.
Considering the child’s age and given their brains are still developing, they would be unable to differentiate between right and wrong. In fact, studies reflect that violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in youths, especially. When one repeatedly witnesses violence or inappropriate content, they start getting used to it over a period of time. This also has the potential to cause aggression in one’s behaviour and mind and may result in them having a short temper.
3. Causes distractions in Academics
As gaming is extremely addictive to numerous teenagers around the world, they might prioritize playing games and entertaining themselves over educating themselves at school. Gaming has the ability to distract one from their academics and school work. Even outside of school, children may skip doing their homework or studying for tests and choose to game instead. This can result in poor performance, impact their intelligence, and may negatively impact their future.
The victims in this scenario are young minds, who tend to neglect their academics, thus, involving their families and adding stress within the family. This may have a major psychological impact on the family members, which has the ability to distract them from their work, thus, impacting others.
4. Social Disconnection
While gaming, many adolescents prefer interacting with others online and detest one’s physical presence. They prefer to be left alone, entertaining and satisfying themselves through digital interactions. This adversely affects their interpersonal skills and makes them more anti-social. This results in adolescents failing to engage in conversations and being unable to entertain themselves socially. As a result, their stress level gets high in their work and personal life in the future.
5. Excessive radiation
When one spends too much time gaming or working on a screen, the brain structure and function can be impaired. Furthermore, it can cause obesity, insomnia, mood swings, and even problems at school. As children’s brains undergo an immense amount of change during their formative years, this excess screen time can be extremely damaging to their growth in their future years.
As mentioned previously, according to many studies, video games can increase aggressive behaviour, cause emotional outbursts, and decrease inhibitions in many people. Due to addiction, young minds continuously game and as a result, become more aggressive and anti-social. In order to prevent this from occurring, one must create a schedule consisting of what to do throughout the course of each day.
Under the schedule, children should assign a particular amount of time they would like to game for, under the supervision and involvement of their parents, and must stick to the schedule thoroughly. Another solution to prevent these aggressive behaviours from taking place can be practising different cathartic activities such as, but not limited to, yoga, exercising, singing, dancing, and counselling too if that helps! If one follows these practices on a daily basis, the chances of them being aggressive or moody will decrease indefinitely.
About our Writing Program Student:
Zahaan Sabuwala (15) is a Xth Grader studying at Oberoi International School in Mumbai. He’s fond of playing the guitar and is a national-level lawn tennis player. During his spare time, he loves spending time with pets!
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