Children’s addiction to digital devices, particularly smartphones, is now a growing problem for the development of their mental and physical health, according to experts.
Some children even cannot be fed without letting them watch smartphone contents in many cases in Bangladesh. The children are losing their social life due to excessive addiction to smartphones, they said.
Sumaiya Khatun, mother of two children, said rearing children is now a challenge for her as both of her children are addicted to smartphones.
"My son who is four years old is desperate for digital devices. He is used to watching internet content. He can’t think of his time without the smartphone. This is now a lifestyle for him as he always keeps the phone with him to watch cartoons and other porgrammes," she said.
She also said that her two-year-old daughter is also interested in internet content like his brother. "We have tried a lot to get them out of this habit. We provide them with smartphones as it is not possible to stay with them all the time. But it looks odd for us as they always stay with smartphones," she added.
Sumaiya said their concentration on smartphones is a matter of tension for us as they may browse different websites or content which is not appropriate to their age.
Another working parent shared his concern over the issue as their seven-year-old girl, who is studying in class one, cannot think of a moment without looking at her phone.
The father of the Girl Faisal Hasan who is working as the Senior Information Officer in the Press Information Department posted in Dhaka while a private job holder Mother along with her daughter lives in Chattogram.
"We are really concerned about her mental and physical health and social grooming as she spent most of her leisure time watching online content. We allow it as we are busy with our job," the father of the daughter told UNB.
He also said that they did not find any alternative to allowing her to spend time on smartphones.
"But it seems a dangerous thing for her creativity and proper social grooming. She now prefers watching online content to playing with other friends. The pandemic makes the situation worse than usual," he added.
“Now the digital addiction is the key barrier to children's proper social grooming,” said a businessman Abul Hossain.
Founding President of Dhaka University IT Society and writer Abdullah Al Imran said that today's children are the future. But internet addiction
is destroying their future. The addiction is even more intense when children have been immersed in online content since childhood.