The use of mobile phones and our children

Farah Kamran
June 11, 2021

Mobile phone is used in all corners of the world and at every minute for numerous purposes, but only a few users are aware of the struggle made to invent it....

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Mobile phone is used in all corners of the world and at every minute for numerous purposes, but only a few users are aware of the struggle made to invent it.

This device underwent many stages of development; changing shapes and sizes with new specifications. Motorola became the first company to produce a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment. Before 1973, the facility of mobile telephony was limited to phones installed in cars and other vehicles only.

Researchers working in this field succeeded in making a smartphone and thus IBM Simon, the world’s first smartphone, was introduced in 1993.

A rapid growth of wireless telecommunications was observed towards the end of the 20th century. Cellular phones, earlier used for limited and essential contact only are, widely used these days due to the development of advanced applications. The main purposes of cell phones - making calls and messages - have been upgraded and now they can be used to access the internet, browsing and using social networks. It is very useful to call for immediate help in emergencies, to store data, pictures, videos and many other types of documents. Applications like calendars, note keepers, voice recorders, and alarms all help people stay organized and do things on time. Mobile phones have become a family where the tab, tablet, laptop and desktop computer are the functioning members.

Almost 4.72 billion internet users around the world were recorded in April 2021 and this number is currently growing at an annual rate of 7.6 percent. The alarming truth is that people spend hours using the internet either for important purposes or entertainment. These digital devices have made the distance closer but have brought visible behavioural and psychological changes in the heavy users.

Impact on children

Unfortunately, children have joined their elders in this race and even toddler know how to use a cell phone; it no longer surprises anyone to see little ones swipe finger and scroll for exciting applications in their cells or tablets. Moreover, for pre-school learning the children under age three are given these devices and sometimes they are provided with the digital toys to keep them busy and involved. Some parents are too busy with their jobs and cannot afford time to spend with their kids. Thus, these cartoons teach them alphabets, their sounds, rhymes and ethics as well.

But the most dangerous point that is not understood by parents is that these cartoons are not always innocuous. They are being used as a tool to spread an idea, religion, culture or for propaganda purposes. Each cartoon maker incorporates ideas to serve a purpose. Indian cartoon movies include the names and stories of their gods. The Western cartoon movies depict their culture and religion. They are affecting the children psychologically. Similarly, many digital games like the PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) expose children to gun culture. It’s time we realise what we are exposing our children to, and think if we are raising future terrorists in our homes.

Moreover, it is also unsafe to leave children unsupervised while using the digital devices and social media networks consisting of a huge mass of data prohibited by our religion and culture. Children at an early age get used to content uploaded on the internet and its effects can be seen in their habits later.

Earning through the internet is trending these days, but unfortunately many YouTubers upload nonproductive material, like recording their daily routine to guide others! Moreover, children must be taught the lesson of privacy; not to make their personal life public property by uploading pictures and videos of their daily life and events.

The use of the electronic devices cannot be avoided these days but can be minimized by strong parental control and supervision. Many parental control apps are available that can be installed and used easily. Nowadays, the schools are also dependent on these devices due to the Covid 19 pandemic, but the short-time and purposeful use of electronic devices and internet cannot harm our generation.

Our government and parents should take all necessary steps for the limited and beneficial use of the electronic devices and the internet. Parents must also take this issue seriously and should not allow their children to use any social media network. Book reading and indoor games must be introduced at every home. Parents also need to participate in these physical activities as only then the children will take interest and a pleasant change in environment and routine will be observed. Furthermore, there is a need to spend time productively to bring positivity and prosperity to our world.

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