Tech addiction poses mental, physical threats: Expert

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The role of technology gets bigger every day, and addiction and overuse of smart devices threaten people of all ages, mentally and physically, according to a Turkish expert.

“Children in stages of development face the threat of technology addiction. It is known to cause developmental disability and mental retardation in children,” Deniz Unay, a social media specialist, told Anadolu Agency.

He added that one threat of tech overuse is obesity, as well as vision and spinal disorders, failure in school, and progressive social isolation.

“If we think how technology is easily accessible today, we should learn how to use it as a way of facilitating our lives rather than being dependent on it,” he said, adding that projects like the Erasmus+ “Smart Children of the Digital World” are needed to fight technology addiction.

Mentioning the Erasmus + KA 229 project prepared by the Zeki Altindag Primary School in Konya, central Turkey, he said it has been carried out for two years under the name “Golden Children of the Digital Age Project” in Turkey, Malta, Spain, and Poland.

He explained: “The objectives of this project are to teach the responsible and safe use of technology to children age 6-10, to protect children from the harmful effects of technology, to support their physical and mental development, to raise awareness of children in areas of technology for the benefit of humanity, to support personality development in universal human values, and to support the development of self-care skills and their hobbies.”

Stressing the need to battle tech addiction in every field, he said he has given seminars on the damage from social media and smart devices to primary, secondary, and high school students across Turkey.

“In addition, we have established direct communication with thousands of students and parents through our efforts at the parent academy. Generally, many families prefer to remain passive, but this situation has serious consequences,” he said.

Suggesting that parents first set aside their own smart devices to be a positive role model, he added: “I want to reiterate a call I’ve made for years: Parents! TVs, tablets, and phones are not your children’s babysitters.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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