Youngsters under stress to look picture perfect online

Youngsters under stress to look picture perfect online

A teenager with a phone in hand is not news anymore. The speed at which they send text messages and the number of selfies they take, often leave elders stunned. Experts are worried that smartphone addiction is leading to an increase in pressure among youngsters to look perfect in their online lives. 

Instagram is one of the apps which is used by youngsters. Most of the users are very particular and specific about the pictures they upload — it’s their way of ensuring that they look picture perfect and attain the maximum number of ‘likes’. 

Jyothi Rajesh, a mother of a nine-year-old daughter and five-year-old son is hoping to hold on to their innocence by not providing too many smart gadgets.
She says, “It is easier to hand them a phone when we are busy with something but we are trying our best not to encourage it. But somewhere along the way, they end up being addicted to it.”

Jyothi’s strategy is to avoid buying their children a phone till they are 18-years-old. “We know that we will probably have to provide them with a phone when they are travelling alone or in similar situations. Monitoring their usage and knowing what they are browsing is what we will have to keep in mind,” she adds. 

One of the many disadvantages of smartphone addiction is that children struggle with social skills. Most teens are now used to communicating while looking at a screen. 

Melissa (name changed) got her first phone when she was 14. She is now 16 years. “It took a lot of convincing but my parents finally gave in and bought me an iPhone. I was one of the first ones to have a phone in my gang and it definitely made me feel special,” she explains. 

She says that she finds it easier to text her friends than have to call or speak to them in person. She adds, “I just need decent internet connections and I can talk to all my friends at the same time.”

Clinical psychologist Supriya Shankar advises parents to stop using smartphones in front of their kids if they want their child to not be addicted. “As soon as you hand them a phone, they will develop problems related to concentration, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, physical activity and so on,” she says.

As far as teenagers are concerned, it is natural for them to want to look like the celebrities they follow. “These are the years that they start identifying their image and start using makeup. Not only will makeup spoil your skin, you will also be affected mentally because of how perfect you want to look each time,” says Supriya. 

She says that as long as parents are addicted to smartphones, children will follow the practice.

Is it possible to evade technology?

It depends on the parents. Allow your child to use the phone only during emergencies and only for half an hour in a week.

Channelise that energy 

When a child or teenager asks for a phone or you want to keep them occupied, give them a game to play or take them outside. Keep them engaged in various physical activities.

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