Hyperconnected and hyper impatient
Making abusive use of electronic devices turns people, especially teenagers, into obsessive, impatient and selfish beings.
In some countries, almost 30% of ten-year-olds already have a telephone, which can make relationships in family contexts difficult if clear limits are not established from the start:
Sometimes we assume that with that age they are too young to get into trouble and we give them a freedom that could lead to abusive use in adolescence, when setting standards generates greater conflicts because they already see it as an acquired right that they do not want to give up.
That is why it is important that training programs on the time of exposure to these devices and awareness about responsible use begin at an early age.
Self-control in the use of mobile phones for the youngest – fifth and sixth-grade students – show that the development of self-control should start earlier, in fourth grade, that is, with children who are nine years of age.
There is a clear need for education in the use of electronic devices.
The starting age for a child to use a mobile phone is decreasing so much that when the kids arrive at middle school they are already “little veterans” that cannot be qualified as experts, but as users who have learned from a little-guided experience, so it is essential that someone help them to carry out that process more efficiently and less dangerously.
At the moment, according to a recent report by Google and the FAD (Foundation for Help Against Drug Addiction), up to 83% of adolescents between 14 and 16 years of age consider that they make intensive use of mobile phones and social networks, while 15% admit that they uncontrollably look at the screen during the classes.
Minors are evolving from mainly playful to communicative use of mobiles, to something facilitated by the emergence of social networks, which indicates that they integrate technology into their life habits and use it in a positive way.
Regarding the negative part, research points out that it is later in middle school and high school that between 3 and 10% of adolescents is at risk due to improper use of their phones that is mostly related to video games.
“There is more social alarm than real problems, so the message that should be highlighted is that the solution is not to prohibit, but to teach,” says Andrés Chamarro, professor of psychology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The process of learning how to properly use their phones goes through a negotiation that begins with a very restricted use that is revised as the children reach a more mature age. You must work with their autonomy and give them more and more freedom, although there will be rules that will always remain.
When kids turn into young adults, children of parents who made use the child learned to use, not abuse the use of mobile phones will be in better shape to cope with abusive behaviors they see in friends, for example.
Even as young adults, it is important that they understand that as long as the parents pay for the phone the device will still be their property and they can still establish the rules of use at home.
Of course, there will be a part of personal privacy and freedom that parents cannot manage because it only concerns the young user and there is nothing left to do by the parents other than to trust their children.
In summary, adolescents addicted to mobile phones and other electronic devices, if not adequately guided, become less resolute, have a worse capacity to maintain attention for one or several issues, become more impatient, disregard their privacy on the Internet, are more fickle, have less tolerance for frustration, and are more individualistic.
On the other hand, if parents play an active role in educating their children in the proper use of mobile devices, their children will not only become responsible users, but they will also avoid turning into technology addicts.