kids-tabletsSmartphones are great because they bring a lot of convenience into our lives. They also help with productivity, finances, shopping, and even health, but could kids that start relying on smartphones at a young age be a good thing? According to Julie Lynn Evans who has been working as a child psychotherapist for 25 years, the simple answer is no.

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According to Evans, she has noticed in the recent years that her workload as a child psychotherapist has increased significantly. She’s not alone as official figures in the UK have shown that emergency admissions to child psychiatric wards have doubled in the past four years, and that young adults hospitalized for self-harm has been up by 70% in a decade.

Evans says, “Something is clearly happening because I am seeing the evidence in the numbers of depressive, anorexic, cutting children who come to see me. And it always has something to do with the computer, the Internet and the smartphone.” However Evans thinks that while it might be a factor, attributing it to just technology might be an oversimplification of the problem.

For example youths these days can access all kinds of websites without parents supervising them. It used to be back in the day where the only way to go online was through the computer at home, which could be filtered and protected through parental software. Evans states, “So there are difficult chat rooms, self-harming websites, anorexia websites, pornography, and a whole invisible world of dark places. In real life, we travel with our children. When they are connected via their smartphone to the web, they usually travel alone”.

Evans also thinks that parents need to set an example. If our kids were to see us glued to our mobile devices, even if it might be work related, they might think it’s okay. Parents are also encouraged to spend more time with their children instead of being stuck on their phone all day long, but what do you guys think? Is Evans onto something here? Should we really scale back on the amount of technology we use/rely on?

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