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Technology, especially social media, has made it easy for adults, even introverts, to connect with other people and even make friends. However, more screen time is doing the opposite for preschoolers.

According to a study by researchers in Finland, children under the age of five who spend a lot of time on video games or smartphones have a hard time making friends at school. More alarmingly, these kids also elicit behavioral issues and are always in trouble at school.

The researchers monitored 366 boys and 333 girls from birth to the age of 5 years. Among the things they tracked were the kids’ health and psychological well-being. The parents of the kids also recorded how much screen time the kids had.

The pandemic does it again.

As we continue to live in the pandemic, the number of children under five who use smartphones and tablets has shot through the roof. This can be attributed to the fact that we are so advanced in technology, and an intelligent device is more of a necessity than a luxury. Another strong reason why all these kids are buried in smartphones and tablets is online classes. The pandemic has brought with it the new class where the teacher is behind a screen.

Smartphones aren’t really for learning. 

While parents mostly buy these devices for learning purposes, in the end, the learning is what they do least. Even with as many internet restrictions as possible, the kids can still use the tablets and smartphones for entertainment with video games and cartoons. On the other hand, the parents appreciate this because the kids are distracted and can get out of their hair for a minute, allowing them to finish that zoom presentation.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare researchers say that psychological problems should be on top of parental worries. Dr. Juulia Paavonen, the corresponding author of the study, says in a media release that high levels of electronic media use in young kids can be linked to psychological problems, difficulty in learning, and general behavioral issues.