According to McAfee’s Global Connected Family Study smartphone use in the world among children in the age of 10-14 is 76% , which can have significant impacts on the socialization of children. This is due to working parents, grandparents not living with children due to nuclearization, reduced community feeling, inadequate development of creches and child support services and proliferation of child-centric content like Youtube Kids etc.
Some of the impacts include:
1. Reduced Inter-Personal Bonds: Diminish crucial cuddling moments between parents and children, leading to a lack of emotional connection and affecting children’s security and well-being.
2. Increased isolation: Intensify feelings of loneliness and isolation, as digital connections often lack the emotional support of in-person relationships.
3. Stunted Personality Development: Hinder the natural development of children’s personalities, which primarily occurs through real-world interactions.
4. Decreased Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Excessive engagement in self-promotion on social media, driven by financial incentives, can reduce children’s empathy and emotional intelligence by fostering shallow interactions that prioritize individualisation.
5. Risk of Cyberbullying and Inappropriate Content: Unsupervised or excessive use of mobile phones can expose children to cyberbullying, inappropriate content, or online dangers promoted suicidal thoughts, feelings of aggression towards others. E.g.: Blue whale Challenge.
To increase children’s socialization, prioritize inter-personal Bonds, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Balancing these strategies will help them develop crucial social skills and build meaningful relationships.