The impact of technology

20 May 2019

by Ali Hamilton

You’re In Doubt About Technology? See How It Impacts Our Kids

By the time children are eight years old, 96% will have watched television, 81% will have played console video games, 60% will have used apps on portable devices, such as cell phones or tablets, and 90% will have used a computer. This is pursuant to research findings by Dr. Brent Conrad, a senior psychologist at Saint Mary’s University. These statistics show just how impactful technology has become on the lives of today’s kids. Technology has its merits and demerits, and for us to get the best out of it, it is the responsibility of adults to regulate and teach kids about it. As the world changes, we need to evolve with it, and there are presently new threats online that need to be addressed.

Communication and Social Life

Communication has been made easier by technology. We receive and send information fast, and just with a touch of a button, we can get in touch with our loved ones. Technology has literally become part of our lifestyle. Therefore, you’ll find that many kids will grow up skilled in using technological devices, such as smartphones and tablets for communication. Using these devices, children can access social media to keep in touch with friends who are both near and far away. This way, they are able to build and cultivate lasting relationships among themselves.

However, it is crucial to control the hours children spend in front of the screen. For example, when children watch television or use their phones for many hours, their sleeping habits are interrupted. Therefore, it’s important to limit the time they are exposed to the devices before bed. On the flip side, too much use of technology eliminates real-life communication, and this can lead to social isolation. It eliminates one-on-one conversations, which are essential for fostering relationships. Children end up leading lonely lives, and that could lead to depression or an inability to read social cues. Furthermore, violent games and videos can cultivate a generation of young people with no empathy and who can be very self-destructive.

Developmental Impacts.

Technological advancements have transformed the way children develop. From a young age, today’s children are exposed to different forms of technology, be it television, video games or the internet. Growing up in this age significantly shapes several aspects of our children, either positively or negatively. Children are so impressionable that what they see or watch shapes the way they think, treat others and carry themselves. With technology, children face the risk of embracing ideas that may ruin their lifestyles, socially and physically. However, with the correct guidance and adequate regulation from parents, they can adopt virtues that can be very useful to them.

Tool for Learning

Technology opens the world to children, and so they can dare to dream about great things at a young age. In the past, children were only familiar with the environment they lived in and visited. Today, however, children can access information and see pictures of new places through the screen. Parents can also use technology as a learning aid; audio and videos can teach children how to read and retain information.

Everything has a good and bad side, and technology is not an exemption. However, with adequate vigilance by parents, children can use technology to enhance their fundamental skills as well as aiding their development.

Ali is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Global Dimension

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