Screen Time vs Nature Time – i.e Rural kids today spend more time in front of screens and less time outdoors

Technology has rapidly developed, becoming a key and necessary part of today’s world. The introduction of computers and smart phones have completely changed the experience of working, learning, communicating and entertainment. Though such gadgets have tons of benefits, they also have brought about a lot of negative effects. In the last 20 years, there has been an alarming rise in the amount of time children spend in front of their screens rather when compared to playing outdoors. Studies state that rural kids spend more time on screen and less time outside.

COMPARISONS BETWEEN KIDS WHO SPEND MORE TIME ON SCREEN AND THOSE OUTDOORS

Reports show that kids who play and spend more time outside have experienced more social growth when compared to those who spend more time in front of the screen. Playing outdoors not only improves their social skills, but also helps them connect with the nature, boosting their productivity. Whereas kids who spend more time on screen are more likely to experience health deterioration and a lack of creative skills. It is important for children to go out and connect with the nature as it plays an important role in influencing a person’s physical health and emotional and psychological development. 

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MORE SCREEN TIME

With more and more studies being conducted on the effect of more screen time on kids, concern has been voiced about the negative impact of it. Children who spend more time on screen have reported to have more trouble with problem solving skills. It is also said to affect their creative thinking as they’re restricted within the boundaries of what they watch. Studies show that children who spend more than two hours on screen daily are reported to score less on thinking tests and language skills. It affects the critical thinking and reasoning of children. The light emitted from the screen can affect the sleep cycle of kids who spend too much time on screen, even leading to insomnia. 

BENEFITS OF SPENDING TIME WITH NATURE 

It is extremely important that kids spend their time in nature. Studies show that children who spend more time outside playing, are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious than kids who spend more time on screen. Nature plays an important role in the development of a child. Letting children play outside makes them use their creative and imaginative skills to come up with interesting ways of passing time. It helps build confidence and enables them to think more. Playing outdoors helps them eliminate boredom and improves self-regulation and focus. It strengthens kids physical health as playing outdoors usually involves exercising the use of one’s body in different activities. Encouraging kids to take up activities outside, be it gardening, sports or any other outdoor task will help them be more responsible and boost their productivity. The more time a child spends outdoors in nature, the more it helps to reduce their stress and fatigue. The benefits of playing outdoors are numerous as they help in inculcating a sense of independence and responsibility within kids, while also strengthening them mentally as well as physically. 

With technology being an integral part of education, it can’t be completely discarded from a kid’s life. But efforts need to be made to balance the screen time and outdoors time in order to ensure holistic development. Though keeping kids in front of their screens might be an easier task to manage for parents while supervising them, it is necessary to make them step outdoors and get fresh air from time to time. To ensure a generation that is healthier and psychologically strong, it is important to encourage kids to spend only the necessary time on screen and the rest exploring nature. Hence it is necessary to set aside time for children to explore outdoors as a balanced lifestyle will help them extract their maximum potential and develop themselves completely. 

I became a software developer because I enjoy building, creating and solving problems. I mentor several American, European and Indian startups. I enjoy guiding them through the journey of creating and developing their ideas, and turning them into a reality.
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