Cover of the survey titled Children, Adolescents and Digital Media: Rethinking Parents Role recently conducted by the Christian Education Ministry, Kohima Ao Baptist Church (KABA).
Excessive use of digital media harms children and families: KABA survey
Morung Express News
Kohima | August 30
A survey called ‘Children, Adolescents and Digital Media: Rethinking Parents’ Role’ recently conducted by the Christian Education Ministry, Kohima Ao Baptist Church (KABA) highlighted growing concerns on the excessive use of digital media and its impact on children and families.
Specifically created for new generation parents, teachers and caregivers, the survey hoped to provide necessary information on the positive and negative impact of technology, and enable healthy development and nurturing of children in the digital age.
A total of 1058 Sunday School students between the age group of 12-19 years from the eight sectors under KABA in Kohima participated in the survey. The study found that 83% of Sunday School students surveyed used the internet daily where the most popular channels and sites were Facebook/Instagram, online games and Youtube.
38% of the children were found to spend more than two hours daily on social media or playing games while 10 percent of the children were found to be spending more than 4 hours daily on internet. Further, 70% of the children are spending more than three hours daily watching TV shows or online videos.
At least 60% of the children spend over two hours daily on mobile games, play station or video games. 50% of the children confirmed that their parents do not know their passwords and do not know the websites they have checked. At least 43% of the children admitted that excessive use of the internet for social media and online games is affecting them.
With decreasing family relationships in the present age, the survey also indicated concerns on modern day parenting where 49% of the children expressed the desire for parents to spend more time with them in friendly conversations while 30% expressed the need for parents to spend more time at home.
The survey also indicated minimum communication between parents and children where 37% conversed and spend time with parents at least once a week, 11% admitted to never having such time and conversations, 16% expressing difficulty in spending time with parents and talking about careers and friends while only 30% admitted to conversing and spending time with family every day.
Corroborating the research with several other studies across the globe, the survey pointed out that ‘over dependence on digital media activities can impose significant mental and psychological costs’ where prolonged exposure and dependence of digital media can make children susceptible to cyber-bullying; develop the ‘compare and despair’ attitude; fear of missing out and affecting the self esteem of the child; safety concerns; inappropriate content and contact and commercialism.
The survey also indicated the physical risks of excessive use of digital media which includes lack of sleep quality and learning, lack of concentration and attention, reduced communication skills, higher incidence of obesity, self-esteem, addiction, violence, aggression and misbehavior, depression and anxiety.
The survey also provided guidelines for parents and guardians in bringing up children in the digital age. It recommended parents to allot a daily screen time allowance such as one hour per day, monitor age appropriateness and safety on the internet, and further limit internet accesses.
The research was conducted by Limabenla Jamir, documented by Sentimela Jamir. Cover design and layout by Yami Landi and Ao translation by Imti Longchar. The book is available in both English and Ao translation.