Psychological and Emotional Effects of Digital Technology on Children in COVID-19 Pandemic

Limone, P.; Toto, G.A. Psychological and Emotional Effects of Digital Technology on Children in COVID-19 Pandemic. Brain Sci. 202111, 1126.


COVID-19 has caused obstacles in continuing normal life almost everywhere in the world by causing the implementation of social distancing and eventually imposing the lockdown. This has become the reason for the increase in technology usage in daily life for professional work as well as for entertainment purposes. There has been an increased prevalence of technology usage in adolescents and children during lockdown leaving its impact on their lives either in a positive or negative aspect. The overall documented percentage increase of technology usage in children was about 15%, of which smartphone usage has 61.7% of prevalence. Disturbance in brain functioning is suggested to be originated by compromise of neuroplasticity of the nerves. The radiofrequency (RF) radiations emitting from the smartphone are of doubtful concern as a brain tumor risk factor in children. The increased usage can have effects on brain functioning that will compromise sleep and cognitive abilities and develop risk for certain mental illnesses including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Despite being a threat for developing mental illness, video games are proven to reduce depression and anxiety, and increase creativity, skills, and cognition in children. The increased usage of technology can have a positive and negative impact on the mental development of adolescents and children depending on the trends in the usage. However, parents should be monitoring their children’s mental health and behavior in these difficult times of pandemic.

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