Be aware of negative impact of technology, mothers told

National 1 minute, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MOTHERS should be aware of the negative impact of exposing children to technology, urged the deputy vice-chancellor of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.

Professor Dr Zulkiple Abdul Ghani, who spoke about the role of women in technology at the Knowledge Convention on Wednesday, claimed it is now increasingly common for mothers to use gadgets as a babysitter to keep children occupied.

“You see it a lot. From a young age, children start being exposed to technology like iPads, because their parents use it as a babysitter,” he said in an interview.

He pointed out a growing number of research have found that technology can negatively affect the development of children’s brain, belief system and attitude, but awareness about the issue is lacking among parents.

Experts believe just a few hours of exposure to gadgets can impair brain function and cause behavioural problems in children.

According to leading integrative child psychiatrist Victoria Dunckley, children who spend hours watching television or playing with gadgets were likely to suffer from Electronic Screen Syndrome, a condition in which the nervous system becomes over-stimulated.

Diagnosed children typically “mimic” features of psychiatric disorders and are usually hyperactive, appear defiant, have speech delay as well as poor attention and listening skills.

“We have to be aware of the negative effects of technology. Most of the time, we are on the receiving end as users and we (subconsciously) accept technology without realising the consequences,” said Professor Dr Zulkiple. He reiterated that mothers should be aware of the issue as they are responsible for educating children about the use of technology.

“In the case of women, they play an important role in children’s development... Mothers need to understand how to adapt to the rapid changes in technology to ensure the sustainability of the future generation,” he said.

The Brunei Times