Playing games is indeed very exciting and can make anyone, especially children, forget time. Although playing has become a “natural” thing for children, but what happens if children more often sit in front of a computer screen for hours to play online games? If left unchecked, it can have a negative impact on the physical and psychological health of children, you know.
Children today must be familiar with technology and gadgets. In fact, according to Marc Prensky, an education expert graduated from Harvard and Yale University from America, children aged 14 years and under are “digital natives”, aka natives who inhabit this digital world.
It seems there are almost no electronic devices that are not controlled by the preteens, ranging from PC computers, tablet computers, play stations, to various types of smartphones. All that they use is none other than to try out the various kinds of exciting games available online, both those that can be downloaded free or paid.
However, the thing that is very concerning is that children end up spending more time playing online games rather than doing other positive activities such as learning and playing with friends.
According to data from a survey conducted by Cigna, 42 percent of people in the world spend more time playing games than doing hobbies and socializing with friends. This is also no exception in children. The signs that children have started to become addicted to playing games are:
- Feeling restless and irritable when not allowed to play.
- All he had in mind was an online game, so when mom asked him to chat, the topic he was talking about was also about the game.
- Always want to play games continuously and difficult when told to stop.
- Do not care about the people around, even reluctant to socialize with their peers.
- Having migraines and tired eyes from looking at a computer screen or gadget for too long.
Playing games can indeed provide fun for the child, but if it causes addiction, then the child is at risk of experiencing the following effects:
Impact on Physical Health
- Disturbed Eye Health
Staring at a computer screen or gadget for too long when playing games will automatically make a child’s eye health be decreased, ranging from tired eyes, minus the increase, to damage the eye nerves.
- Motor Disorders
Just sitting around playing games all day also makes children move less. As a result, over time the child’s motor ability will decrease, so that his body growth becomes not optimal and the child is at risk of obesity.
- Joint pain
When playing games, the child unconsciously sits or lies down. This sitting position is not a healthy sitting position. If the child sits in the wrong position for too long, it can make the muscles feel stiff and joint pain.
- Reducing the Concentration of Children
According to research, addiction to playing games can make children experience concentration problems. When children enjoy playing games, there will be changes in the dendritic structure of cells in the brain. This results in decreased concentration of the child, so he easily forgets and fails to focus. Exposure to radiation from electronic devices can also weaken the concentration of children.
Impact on Psychological Health
- Children Not Socializing
The preteens who are addicted to playing games will usually prefer to play computer at home rather than playing outside with their friends. As a result, children will be awkward or less capable if they have to socialize with the surrounding environment.
- Communication Problems
Not only social skills are problematic, children who are addicted to games will also have difficulty communicating. Communicating activities are not just listening and responding to the words of others, but also includes reading the expression of the interlocutor. Children who are less socialized usually have difficulty doing this.
- Make Children Be More Aggressive
Children who are addicted to playing games that contain elements of violence, such as wars, battles, etc., will usually be more aggressive and have high emotions.