What is Nomophobia?
According to Scientific American, nomophobia(or,no-mobile-phone-phobia) is the feelings of anxiety or distress that some people experience when not having their phone (“I don’t know where my phone is!”)
That being said, we cannot neglect the possibility that children who are constantly playing games on their smart devices might have some problem. On that note, the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed 2,000 children ages 8-18 in 2010 and found children’s screen time totals an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes per day. If we do the math: that’s more than 53 hours per week in front of a screen—more than a full-time job! Such statistics must be taken into consideration and solutions must be acted upon. We cannot leave our children unobserved and neglected.
Most screen games are designed to be addictive. Companies producing those games plan on making them that way for years prior to release. They accomplish their goal by fulfilling the need for players to get high scores, rewards based on levels, team play in order to advance, and upgrades every now and then. Online games feed a need for making social connections. Children feel they can obtain social relationships and ‘friends’ through team playing. That feeling tends to make them neglect real socializing and substitute it with virtual chatting and competition. Another point that should be addressed is that the virtual world of gaming remains to expand even if the player is offline.
How Can I Tell?
There are several signs that help you detect your child is addicted to gaming, some are emotional while others are physical. A parent should be concerned when noticing those signals. According to psychguides.com, the most obvious symptoms are:
- Feelings of restlessness and/or irritability when unable to play
- Preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity or anticipation of the next online session
- Lying to friends or family members regarding the amount of time spent playing
- Isolation from others in order to spend more time gaming
- Migraines due to intense concentration or eye strain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the overuse of a controller or computer mouse
- Poor personal hygiene
All what we have been talking about might lead to severe consequences that we should all be worrying about. Some gamers are inclined to have a sleeping disorder, have health related troubles, and might find themselves without any friends in real life. Since those kinds of games can be very time consuming, they are bound to leave addicted gamers with less or no time to focus on their education. That itself can lead to drastic outcomes in terms of academic achievement in the fear of losing scholastic stability and commitment.
Going the Extra Mile
At Play.My.Way, we do not stop at worrying, we take action! Play.my.way’s application is designed to redirect children’s gaming addiction since there are minimal responses parents can do that end the addiction altogether. Hence, we considered we might as well make the most of their addiction. Through parental control, screen blocking, and questioning we are able to transform their addiction into what is beneficial and give parents complete power.