94 pc parents worry deeply about child's mental health from smartphone use: Vivo-CMR study

Apprehensions about the impact on social skills and overall development are widespread among parents

Representative image (Photo: Getty images)
Representative image (Photo: Getty images)
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PTI

Around 94 per cent of parents have deep concern about their children's mental health due to exposure to smartphones while 91 per cent want some restrictions on their access, a study by mobile devices firm vivo and Cybermedia Research said on Thursday.

Smartphone usage has also become an integral part of the daily routine of parents and even impacts their relationship with children, according to vivo Switch Off Research study that covered 1500 individuals comprising 1000 parents and 500 kids.

As per the study, parents use smartphones for an average of 7.7 hours every day and 90 per cent get irritated when kids ask for something while they are immersed in their smartphones.

"An overwhelming 94 per cent of parents express deep concerns about their children's mental health, with 91 per cent emphasizing the urgent need to impose restrictions on smartphone access. The apprehensions regarding the impact on social skills and overall development are also widespread, as 91 per cent of parents worry that excessive smartphone use might negatively affect their children's social skills," the study said.

On average, children initiate smartphone usage at the age of 12, spending approximately 6.5 hours daily, with a predominant focus on gaming.

Disturbingly, 91 per cent acknowledge experiencing anxiety when distanced from their phones, signifying a profound emotional reliance, the study said.

Around 90 per cent of children covered in the study shared that they spend their time on smartphones when they are at home and claim to often get so lost in the smartphone world that they ignore the real world.

"91 per cent of children experience anxiety when they are separated from their phones, while the majority of children feel lonely and agree that excessive usage takes a toll on their mental health," the study said.

Almost all the children feel guilty about the quality of their relationship with their parents, while also feeling lonely because of their parents' smartphone usage.

As per the study, 92 per cent of parents agree that children are misusing their smartphones.

The study found around 60 per cent of children use their smartphones for infotainment while 58 per cent of children find smartphones convenient for connecting with friends, family, and relatives who are geographically living far away.

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