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Negative Effects of Excessive Screen Time on Children’s Health

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The average kid in today’s society receives his or her first phone at the age of ten. Using technology at an early age can cause an unhealthy mental and physical impact on a child’s growth and development. Excessive screen time has a negative effect on children’s health because it disrupts how much sleep one gets, it lowers self-esteem, and it increases the risk of gaining too much weight. Although many people can agree that technology has negative consequences on our growing community, others believe that mobile devices do not have a direct connection to one’s mental health. Some may argue that using social media can give people a sense of worth. When individuals post selfies online and get a high number of “likes”, it builds the confidence in one’s self. Others may propose that social networks can encourage shy people to connect with others on social media. A little more than 25% of adolescents admit that using social media allows them to be more outgoing. But in reality, social networking sites can make people feel unhappy with themselves because they can’t be who they would rather be in the real world. In the first place, the use of cellular devices disrupts the amount of hours teens sleep. Not getting enough sleep can worsen cognition, which means that taking in knowledge can be much more difficult. 

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health conducted a study with 4,500 children ages 8 through 11 to see the relationship between the amount of sleep and physical activity that is recommended. Each child who reached the requirements were found to have better cognition rates, including memory and attention. Another unfavorable consequence is that the light from mobile devices gets rid of melatonin, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. The light and notifications from phones and other cellular devices suppresses melatonin and decreases the chance of a peaceful sleep. Lastly, kids found to stare at a TV screen before bed have difficulty going to sleep at night. Young adults were found to be “four times more likely to report waking up several times” than people who do not watch TV or look at any devices before going to bed. Undoubtedly, social media has found to lower the self-esteem of youths. Generally, social media pressures adolescents to become someone they’re not so they can fit in with everyone else in their peer group. Consequently, social media can leave people feeling left out. When teens hang out with their friends, many post pictures online documenting their time together. When people who were not invited see the images, it would make them feel not wanted. Furthermore, social networking pressures adolescents to become someone they are not so they can fit in with everyone else. According to Katie E. Davis who is an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School, “Many teens end up presenting themselves in both arenas as what Davis terms ‘packaged, polished selves’ who conform to whatever image they believe best fits their social circle.” This causes kids to become unhappy because they can’t show their real emotions. In the same way, cyberbullying is a rising epidemic that exposes youngsters to depression. 

The article “Depression and teens: Are Devices to blame?”, Finally, excessive use of technology is inappropriate because increased TV hours raises the risk of obesity. First, watching TV leads to inactive behavior, leading the way to being overweight. “‘Passive viewing is still children’s number one activity,’” said Dr. David Hill who is the chairman of the Council on Communication and Media of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Second, TV screens can lead to unusual eating system. The advertising of junk food that is shown on TV likely causes a child to snack nonstop while staring at a TV screen. Third, because unreasonable screen time is associated with obesity, it can also lead to fatal sicknesses such as heart disease. In a study, researchers used approximately 390,000 people and accounted factors such as weight, hours spent staring at a screen, and the amount of excercise they get. The conclusion from this study is that people who spent more time peering at a TV screen had a much higher risk of developing cancer and/or heart disease than those who don’t watch TV as much. 

In final consideration, too much screen time can disrupt a child’s sleep, increase the risk of depression, and increase obesity exposure. Although there are good uses to technology, the disadvantages of social media outweigh the benefits because the risks are more severe. Now picture what would happen if our society didn’t have such advanced technology. Maybe everyone would feel a little more alive.                      

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Negative Effects Of Excessive Screen Time On Children’s Health. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from
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