Rethinking screen time and gaming during Covid-19

Rethinking screen time and gaming during Covid-19

Rethinking screen time and gaming during Covid-19 :

  • With covid19 in India, causing extensive school shutdowns, children across the country are being given alternate resources of online study. Temporary solutions being devised for remote education range from online classroom tools like Google Classroom, Zoom and Webinars by schools.
  • While parents are still finding a tough time to adjust to this new scenario, during this time it’s important to help kids stay focused on learning and avoid disproportionate use of screen time, gaming, social media, and videos.
  • Despite the ubiquitous use of screen time and gaming, there is very little research in India on the beneficial or harmful aspects of screen time and video games for school-age children’s cognition or learning. A study by www.wearesocial.com, shows that an average gamer in India spends about 4-5 hours of his day on gaming.
  • It’s time for parents to rethink, redefine strategies at home to suit this lockdown situation where everyone is glued to electronic gadgets throughout the day, here we have listed a few risks, benefits, tips to manage the screen time and gaming effectively

Risks because of disproportionate screen time or gaming :

  • May lead to health risks, might even lead to internet gaming disorder.
  • It replaces healthy behaviours and habits such as physical activity and sleep and leads to harmful habits such as sleep deprivation, changes in sleep-wake cycles, malnutrition, headaches, orthopaedic problems like texting neck/texting thumb, etc.
  • It causes significant changes in a person’s mood or ability to control moods (i.e., physical aggression) when asked to stop playing.
  • It will contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and difficulty at school or work.
  • It negatively impacts a person’s relationships with family members and peers. It interrupts leisure time, conversations, and family hours.

Benefits because of appropriate screen time or gaming :

  • Helps to improve decision-making skills.
  • Inspire interest in history and culture
  • Help kids make friends and remove loneliness and stress in covid19 times
  • Kids share the joy of competition and they give kids a chance to enhance leadership skills
  • Spark creativity in children
  • Exercise video games to help children get some movement while improving their overall brain function.
  • Children form bonds with the characters in the games, they will be able to learn better social skills

Rating of Games :

  • EC = Early Childhood - (3+ Years)
  • E = Everyone - (6+ Years)
  • T = Teen - (13+ Years)
  • M = Mature - (17+ Years)
  • AO = Adults - (18+ Years)
  • Watch the Words, Parental Guidance, Violence, Bad Language and 18 Years

Game Genres :

  • Puzzle : Problem Solving Skills - (Rush Hour)
  • Action : Physical Challenges - (The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
  • Strategy : Gamer(s) Decision Making Skills - (StarCraft with Brood War Expansion)
  • Adventure : Story-based - (Harry Potter's Hogwarts Mystery)
  • Arcade : Single-player Games - (Space Invaders)
  • Sports : Sports - (EA Sports Cricket)
  • Skill based : Mental Skills - (Poker)

Recommendations for Kids and Parents :

  • Set privacy settings to high and enable parental controls for all gaming apps and browsers.
  • Set time limits - Use the Family Cellphone agreement and Internet Screen Time Agreement
  • Keep phones and other gadgets out of the bedroom and kids shouldn't play at night.
  • Teach children to keep personal information private
  • Advise kids to take regular breaks while playing so that stress and anxiety are reduced
  • Being critical of spending money on In-App purchases
  • Green Time is more important than Screen Time, Support children to be active, allow playing video games that require physical activity
  • Inform why limitations around screen time/online activities are being relaxed, that any additional isolation, quarantine or lockdown ends.
  • Enable Play It Safe and Safe Search and Install the latest software updates and antivirus applications.

Proven way's to reduce screen time on smartphones :

  • Disable notifications in kids smartphone
  • Charge your device outside the bedroom
  • Access social media from your computer instead of your smartphone
  • Keep only important tools on your home screen
  • Let children keep their phone away during meals with friends and families
  • Support them to use greyscale mode on your smartphone
  • Use screen time on ios and digital wellbeing on android to monitor the usage of Screen Time

My Recommendation :

  • Manage your home network and Digital parenting needs with Justifi. It’s India’s first all-in-one smart solution that works on your home router and helps to create various policies to manage screen times, bandwidth limits, content controls, no internet zones, prioritising devices for better productivity and the solution is available on www.justificloud.com

Reach us at: support@endnowfoundation.org