COVID – 19 and it’s a digital footprint

Parenting in the Pandemic

Increased exposure to screens

The deadly virus had us all rushing inside our homes. History saw a nationwide lockdown like never before and life changed overnight. With this drastic change, everything took a digital form, movie outings changed to binge-watching on Netflix, dragging shopping carts in Target changed to checking out from delivery websites. 

From gyms, offices to schools everyone took to Zoom and FaceTime. During the pandemic, if a particular age group had a more drastic digital impact than any other has to be our kids. With everything being found at a single screen, from entertainment options to online study modules, it is now more than ever that we need to talk about the digital footprint this pandemic is going to leave on our children’s lives.

The survey conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY), a non-government organisation working for the children pointed out that “88% respondents said their children’s exposure to screens increased during the lockdown, with 45% reporting the increase “to a great extent” and only 43% of the parents/ primary caregivers said they always supervised when the child was online” (tap here to view source ). Not to forget that increased screen time not only impacts a child physically, the body posture and the eyesight but also entails mental impact. 

A child does not know the difference between reliable and fake sources and may unconsciously absorb information that may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and undue dependence on the screen. While we can’t get away with the necessary i.e. online teaching and learning tools, there is a greater need now more than ever to manage and control the increasing screen time. One such way is to download parental control apps that regulate screen time. 

The dangers Online

With the absence of options like going out to play, summer at grandparents, cycling, morning walks and a lot other, to keep kids engaged we have happily provided them with little smart devices of their own. But are we really making the smart choice here? While in this tech era, it is impossible to keep our kids away from these devices, it does not necessarily mean we can’t protect them from dangers they might stumble upon online. 

Opening sites not meant for children, pop ups and ads that endorse sex toys, erotica,cookies suggesting “A” rated films and TV shows, not to forget cyber Bullying. Many young teens have found themselves resorting to social media before the legitimate age. 

What can be done? 

As a parent at this time and age, it is important for you to be Digitally smart. Make sure your devices have parental control apps installed that not only regulates screen time but also monitors the activities online whilst blocking unwanted information, sites and apps. One such app is Pika Pika, a 360° parental control app that lets you do all this at ease and without much hassle. 

Apart from this it is also important that you sit with your kids and have “The digital talk” with them. Kids learn by example, you can take a screen detox time together and spend quality time offline. There are a lot of activities that can be done to keep the little ones engaged that don’t rely on the little screen. Take a step towards being Digitally smart today because it is better late than never!

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