Every Thursday, we at Medicircle conduct a special series called Bindas Bol with Dr.Kumar Kamble. Dr.Kumar Kamble is not only a professional sexologist but also a de-addiction specialist. Dr. Kamble has special expertise and experience in working with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in the Deaddiction center for 4 years.
Many people struggle with addiction and dealing with it can be difficult at times. Today, we are going to deal with “Screen Addiction” from mobile, laptop, TV, and tabs. Screen addiction can have a negative impact on health. Every third person on this globe has fallen prey to screen and mobile addiction. Many people are addicted to mobile and screens, especially kids. In 2017, WHO informed that screen addiction is like gaming addiction. Children are prone to screen addiction which leads to defective development and delayed speech like autism.
At Medcircle, we are presenting the Ask The Expert Series on De-Addiction titled Bindas Bol with Dr. Kumar Kamble. Today, we are going to discuss addiction and its cure with Dr. Kumar Kamble to get the people who are suffering from screen addiction.
Dr.Kumar Kamble is an expert Psychiatrist, De-addiction Specialist, Sexologist, Speaker, Mental and Sexual Health Educator. He is also associated with the Umang Clinic. He has worked with King Edward Memorial Hospital in the Deaddiction center for 4 years as a Medical Office Coordinator.
Drug addiction and screen addiction
Dr. Kumar Kamble says, “Normally, we talk about drug dependency in addiction. drug dependency leads to craving and withdrawal symptoms. There are many addictions like behavioral addictions which are very similar to drug addiction. Behavioral addiction impacts your brain and mind. Screen addiction relates to the addiction to laptops, TV, Tab and mobile screens. These various screens and their dependency can result in various negative consequences on the mind and health of the body. All this is referred to as “screen addiction.”
Going digital and online is the new norm
Dr. Kamble informs, “This pandemic schools and offices are shut. We are all communicating with online services and going digital. Online school and colleges with the work from home options results in going digital. Earlier, before the pandemic, our screen time was relatively low. Now, during a pandemic, screen time is relatively high due to online work from home or online education. All the work is going online which has increased the need for screen time for work and leisure. We need the online screen for work and study which is important. It is important to understand the screen time for study and work rather than leisure. The social media platforms are designed in such a pattern so that you follow all the shows and updates back to back in day to day to enjoy it making you spend several hours increasing the screen time."
Impact of excess screen time
Dr. Kamble states, “ The impact of excessive screen time is as follows:
- Physical inactivity
- Impact on education
- Impact on office work
- Avoid healthy lifestyle
- Impact on the sleeping pattern
- Impact on brain
- The low productivity in work or school
- Lack of concentration
- Decreased mental output
Nonessential excess use of screen time is relatively high this pandemic. This can create a lot of problems.”
Negative consequences of Screen use in children
Dr. Kamble states, “Screen use in children can cause a negative impact on their lifestyle. This could be due to
- Excess video games
- More presence in a virtual world in children
- Lack of skills development in children
These have a negative impact on excess screen use in children.”
Social communication disorder in children due to excess screen time
Dr.Kamble informs, “Most kids are spending time in virtual worlds. This leads to a lack of social communication and skills being hampers in children. We can understand that due to pandemics, children cannot step out and play or interact with their friends. This leads to spending more time in front of screens. Parents should try to avoid increasing screen time. There are many children who are finding it difficult to develop social skills as compared to going to school. We need to improvise and make some changes in the children’s lifestyle. Parents should be aware of the same to overcome these problems.”
Overcoming screen addiction in adults
Dr. Kamble explains,” For adults, using the screen for essential purposes like work is essential. Do not depend on the screen all the time. There is no need to access your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Self-discipline is a must for adults not only for pandemics. This remote working culture is there to stay for long. Adopt it for better. Check all your social media handles once a day and focus on the essential use of screen time. Spending time on social media handles is not required. Online work should be done at a defined time slot to your work superiors. You need to spend time on household chores. These are simple logical things that must be taken care of. There should be defined personal time for yourself by spending quality time with your family. Every 30 - 40 mins of continuous screen time should be followed by a break of 2 -5 mins when at work. Continuous use of screens can result in a shift of focus. The extraocular muscles also get tired time due to increased screen time. Get yourself involved in a new hobby like playing a board game will give you a break from work. Small changes can be beneficial in case of screen addiction.”
The statistics about teen addiction
According to a study, 41% of teenagers check their social media handles every hour. Around 51% of teenagers, check their social media groups every hour online with friends. Precautions should be taken to maintain healthy eyesight. Teenagers should be involved in creative activities to reduce screen time.
Teenage screen addiction needs special attention
Dr. Kamble says, “Parents handing over mobile phones to their children must communicate to the child about the time limit of screen use beforehand. Every app should be monitored by the parents like the time limit, the website, content, and screen time. Video game content should be taken care of. Awareness is a must for every parent and child. For teenagers up to the age of 18, there should be effective communication with the child by the parent about the consequences of screen addiction. The parents and guardians should be responsible for the same with effective communication. Negative consequences can be avoided with correct awareness among children.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)