The so-called "screen time" is a very relative expression that generates enough discussion. What should be time of prudent use of ICTs by children? It is a question that is a headache not only among parents, who become anxious not to expose ir children more than account at mercy of ICTs, but in general, is a complex issue for all .
Anne Longfield, director of Children's Commissioner for England, a human rights organization for children, has recently compared overuse of social media with junk food and urged parents to regulate time of use through a digital campaign called "Digital 5 A Day," a program that seeks to reflect parents' concerns as well as children's behaviors and needs based on five keys to NHS (National Health Service) or Public Health Service of United Kingdom.
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What are keys to mental well-being?
These five basic guidelines to balance coexistence with digital technology are: creativity, physical activity, interaction with ors, awareness of use and importance of connectivity. For her author, y represent balance that is needed to lead a healthy and balanced "digital diet". This system, in addition, would allow establishing family agreements on use of Internet in different digital devices and ir duration time both at time of vacations and in time of work or school.
For Celso Arango, vice president of Spanish Society of Psychiatry (SEPSIQ) and head of psychiatric service at Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, se guidelines are essential to live healthily with technological devices. "A well-developed digital education is necessary because, just as one learns to ride a bicycle, one must learn how to handle new technologies, especially on part of children," he says.
However, defining "screen time" is difficult, as it is not same to refer to screen of an IPad as to a desktop computer, a Kindle or a television to play video games. Since most screens today are multifunctional, if you specify ir content, context and connections involved, definition will continue to be confusing. Measuring use of technology in terms of quantity rar than quality is also difficult because children often spend time on different devices in multiple places and it is difficult to calculate actual time y spend connected.
In opinion of Arango, technology is not our enemy, but it has multiple advantages, however, it has to always prevail common sense for its correct use. "Everything carries risks, nowadays children are very active users, so you have to stipulate age most convenient to start using according to what type of devices, as well as educate m through a program of introduction and introduction to different technological devices ", Explain.
Risks of prolonged use of NICT
Like everything in life, excess is almost never good, so with technology same thing happens. Prolonged use is one of risks that can be counterproductive, such as causing an addiction. Wher it is a specific application, social networks, or internet in general, children are even more likely to fall into it if y are not given an orientation. "When use of some device is not pleasant, but y stop doing or things because of need to be connected to Internet is when re is a problem," says Arango.
However, it can not be concluded that technologies pose serious health risks if you do not use m properly, as it will always depend on personal use. For Arango, addiction is almost only and greater risk that can lead to misuse of technology. "Getting nervous, having a bad time and getting distressed if you do not use a technological device is a clear symptom of addiction," says expert. However, nowadays, its use is increasing in classrooms, for example, tablets are used almost all time as an educational tool, so teaching also in management of new technologies will be fundamental.
A report by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reports and advises families on recommended time of use of technologies that seeks positive and encouraging messages about use of same by children.
According to Celso Arango, most important thing to start is that re is adequate regulation. "Training, supervision and communication both at home and at school will be fundamental for proper use and use of new technologies," he concludes.
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