There is no doubt that video games, cartoons and anime movies have become a matter of concern for researchers in fields of education and institutions concerned with raising youth, since those shiny screens have become an integral part of our children's lives.
In this regard, Dr. Khaled bin Saoud Al-Holybi, a family consultant, said that children-oriented business has become a huge industry that almost competes with the oil sector. The fact is that biggest gaming companies in the world are competing fiercely. We may not feel that, because we are just consumers and not part of that war.
On the other hand, there are countless studies by universities and research centers that provide us with interesting reports and results every day on the impact of screens and devices on young people. Many of those reports confirm that children up to five years should not use smart devices more than an hour a day, and from the age of six to thirteen can use them for two hours a day. But the real picture is quite different in most of our homes, where taking a device from child's hand is very difficult.
Unfortunately, there is another aspect of this issue; some parents get rid of their noisy children by keeping them busy with games and cartoons all day. This is undoubtedly dangerous, because every child has an energy that should go out in physical activities, not to be wasted in front of screens.
Screens can divided into two main types: a receive/watch screen, and an interactive screen. Dr. Holybi believes that interactive screens are less harmful in the long term, because they allow the child to think and interact with the presented material.
However, we must pay attention to some of the interactive games that allow teenagers to play online with unknown people. This is extremely dangerous. That some terrorist groups have recruited a number of young people in our countries by engaging them in online combat games, through which it was able to attract them and control their minds. This kind of dangers requires more vigilance and firmness in dealing with such recent changes in Muslim societies.
But the most important question here is: Are children really affected by what they see on screens and smart devices?
Dr. Holybi believes that the impact of electronic games varies from one child to another. There is no denying, however, that many games and animes are useful and help to develop creative tendencies of youth, but the problem is that most of our children tend to chose poor or violent content. Thus, viewing violence prompts more aggression and makes the child ready to practice such a violent behavior once he gets under pressure or provocation at school, on the street or even at home with his siblings.
As a result, this excessive attachment of children to smart devices puts parents in real trouble, especially when they lose control completely; they can not block a channel, delete a game, or even take a mobile phone from a child's hand. Such a major challenge requires a lot of patience and awareness, so parents can successfully manage the relationship with their children in the long term.