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The Digital Epidemic: How Social Media, OTT, and Online Gaming Are Taking Over Kids

Children’s Gadget Addiction in India: A Wake-Up Call

In a recent survey conducted by Lokalsarkars, a majority of urban Indian parents expressed their concern about their children’s addiction to social media, OTT platforms, and online gaming. While every third respondent acknowledged that online addiction and gaming were making their children aggressive or extremely lethargic in some cases, a staggering 73% of urban Indian parents demanded stricter data protection laws to ensure mandatory parental consent for children under 18 to engage with social media, OTT, and online gaming platforms. The survey collected responses from over 46,000 urban parents across approximately 296 districts, with 62% of respondents being male and 38% female.

The Parental Cry

The survey revealed that 61% of parents with children aged 9-17 shared that their children spend an average of three hours or more daily on social media, video streaming, and online gaming. Given that not all children spend the same amount of time on the internet, the survey’s initial question asked citizens, “On average, how much time do your 9-17-year-old children spend on social media, video streaming, and online gaming per day?” The question received 11,507 responses.

Daily Screen Time Trends

According to the study, 39% of parents disclosed that their children spend 1-3 hours daily on their gadgets, while 46% stated that the time limit extends from 3-6 hours daily. Furthermore, 15% of parents expressed that their children dedicate more than 6 hours daily to social media, video streaming, and online gaming platforms.

Sharing Data with the Government

Lokalsarkars will share the survey findings with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, along with all major stakeholders. This collaborative effort aims to address parents’ concerns and pave the way for a healthier and safer internet environment for children in India.

As the world grapples with the implications of increasing gadget addiction among children, it becomes imperative to strike a balance between digital engagement and real-world experiences. Parents, educators, and policymakers must come together to ensure that children’s online activities are regulated responsibly, prioritizing their overall well-being.

In conclusion, the survey highlights the pressing issue of children’s gadget addiction in India and the growing demand for stricter regulations. While technology has undoubtedly enriched our lives, it is equally crucial to safeguard the mental and physical health of our younger generation. It’s time for a collective effort to provide our children with a healthy and secure online environment.