Experts on Information and Communication (ICT) have warned that addiction to the use of cell phones has socio-cultural and economic consequences.
The experts noted that clutching on cell phones to undertake some activities online is a trending occurrence since the advent of cellular phones.
Managing Director of Damisah Creative Agency, an ICT company, Babayo Damisa, said: “getting addicted to phones is a global challenge which is hard to combat”.
He added that most youths are addicted to their phones, either being on social media or playing games, which might not be educational.
“This has negative effect on their academic programmes; in the recent time it is very difficult for youths to compose a comprehension without using jargons from the social media.
“So, it is a challenge that the stakeholders including government at all levels should look into in order to salvage this generation from phone addiction.
“Mobile applications come with a lot of advantages but the addiction is one of the disadvantages that bedevil the development of our society because we waste most of our precious time chatting on social media, discussing things that are not relevant.
“If you go to YouTube today to check what is trending, you could hardly find one education programme trending in Nigeria social space.
“When I train youths on development and we go to education site, they find it boring, what they are all looking for in social media is gossip, music and all of that.
“We have a burden, we have to educate the youth on what they can derive from social media as it is a blessing and not suppose to be a curse if we use it properly.’’
Blaise Aboh, Lead Trainer, Code for Nigeria, and Founder Orodata Science, noted Nigerian youths are mostly addicted to ICT.
According to Aboh, ordinarily, ICT in itself is good, but in Nigeria, youths are mostly addicted to the social media to gather information, process information with updates.
“Nigerians are addicted to phones even during the time of recession. I experienced this when I walked into a computer village slot; shops were occupied by various categories of people transacting business and browsing.
“Everyone wants to connect and know what is happening around the world from time to time, this is an addiction,’’ Aboh said.
In a related development, a medical doctor in Kano State, Dr. Tijjani Haruna, has attributed poor academic performance among some students to phone addiction.
Haruna, who is working with the Mohammed Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital, Kano, said the addiction of a child on the phone most likely begins at infants
“The mobile addiction that starts at an early age may lead to poor academic performance, skiving class, sleep disturbances and in more serious cases, to mental problems,’’ he said.
He urged parents to see themselves as a major tool in curbing the menace of cell phone addiction in children and youths, especially in the early ages.