2023 GS1 Answer

Q. Child cuddling is now being replaced by mobile phones. Discuss its impact on the socialization of children.

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS1 Paper

Model Answer: 

Replacement of child cuddling with mobile phones

In recent years, the advent of technology, especially mobile phones, has revolutionized the way we live, work, and interact. While technology has undoubtedly brought about numerous benefits, it has also had some negative impacts, particularly on children.

One such impact is the gradual replacement of child cuddling with mobile phones. This trend has significant implications for the socialization of children. This answer discusses the impact of this trend on children’s socialization in detail.

1. Decreased Physical Contact

Child cuddling is a form of physical contact that plays a crucial role in bonding and emotional development. However, with mobile phones replacing this intimate interaction, children may experience less physical contact, leading to a decrease in emotional bonding and nurturing. This lack of physical touch can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

2. Impaired Social Skills

Socialization involves learning the norms, values, and social skills necessary for participating in society. When children spend more time on mobile phones instead of interacting with their parents or peers, they miss out on essential social learning experiences. This lack of interaction can lead to impaired social skills, such as difficulty in understanding social cues, expressing emotions appropriately, and developing empathy.

3. Increased Screen Time

Increased use of mobile phones often leads to increased screen time. This can have detrimental effects on children’s physical health, including vision problems, obesity, and sleep disturbances. Moreover, excessive screen time can also lead to addiction, which can further isolate children from social interactions.

4. Decreased Family Bonding

Family bonding is a crucial aspect of socialization. However, the use of mobile phones can decrease the time families spend together, thus weakening family bonds. For example, instead of spending time together during meals, family members may be engrossed in their mobile phones, missing out on valuable bonding time.

5. Reduced Outdoor Activities

The use of mobile phones can also reduce the time children spend on outdoor activities, which are essential for their physical and social development. For instance, children may prefer to play games on their phones instead of playing with their peers in a park. This can limit their opportunities for social interaction and physical exercise.

6. Impacts on Mental Health

The overuse of mobile phones can lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. These issues can further hinder children’s socialization, as they may withdraw from social interactions.

7. Reduced Academic Performance

Excessive use of mobile phones can also distract children from their studies, leading to reduced academic performance. This can impact their future career prospects, which are often dependent on their academic achievements and social skills.


In conclusion, while mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, their overuse can have serious implications for children’s socialization. It is crucial for parents and educators to balance the use of technology with traditional forms of interaction, such as child cuddling, to ensure the healthy social development of children. It is also important to educate children about the responsible use of technology and encourage them to engage in physical and social activities.

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