Overusing the internet and social media and spending too much time in front of screens destroy children’s healthy development and learning. Health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and learning difficulties such as ADHD, ASD, and Dyslexia.

To give parents, caregivers, and teachers the tools to help them stand firm and wait until grade 8 before giving children access to smartphones, the Technolife Wise Foundation is connecting like-minded parents to stand and act together against the misuse of technology and screens.

“The aim is to empower parents through different courses to take hands to say Yes to waiting until Grade 8 to give children access to smartphones,” says Dr Marlena Kruger, digital wellness expert, coach, and founder of the Technolife Wise Foundation.

Why is it critically important to wait until grade 8 before you give access to our children to the internet and social media via smartphones?  There are many reasons that have already been researched over the last 15 – 20 years. Some of the reasons that contribute to adverse effects on their children’s physical health and mental well-being parents need to know are the following:

  • Smartphones are changing childhood by pushing aside development essentials for online amusement.
  • Smartphones are addictive with the same brain responses, craving for more and over secretion of dopamine, similar to alcohol, drug and gambling addictions.
  • Smartphones are an academic distraction that is paving a path for academic mediocrity, because of its constant distraction and interruption possibilities.
  • Excessive smartphone use is altering the development of children’s brains by having a premature thinning of the cortex of the brain that processes information from the five senses and is responsible for executive functions and rational and responsible decision-making.
  • Smartphones and other portable devices that emits blue light have a negative impact on both the quantity and quality of sleep, in children and teens. Sleep disturbances in childhood also have other adverse health effects such as poor diet, weakened immune system, stunted growth, and mental health issues.
  • Too much screen time have a higher likelihood of developing disruptive behaviour disorders.
  • Smartphones interfere with the development of healthy and happy face to face relationships between parents and children and family members.
  • Smartphones increase the risk for mental and emotional health disorders such as unnatural high levels of stress, anxiety and depression, especially when using social media and videogaming.
  • Smartphones put your child at risk for cyber bullying.
  • Smartphones expose children to sexual content, including sexting and specifically pornography – even with filters and parental controls installed on their children’s phone. 

If technology executives that flourish on the success of technology are banning smartphones for their children until the age of 14 (in alignment with the age restrictions for many social media apps and even 16 for WhatsApp), should we not do the same?

Visit the website of the TechnoLife Wise Foundation at https://technolifewise.org/ for more information about this life-changing adventure to replace screen time with green time and to sign the “Wait Until Grade 8” Challenge.

Social media handles

Instagram: @waituntilgrade8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Waituntilgrade8/

LinkedIn: TechnoLife Wise Foundation

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