Effectsof Technology on Children
Effectsof Technology on Children
Technologicaladvancement is no doubt one of the biggest transformations in thehuman life. Technology has changed the way `people interact, learnand work. Children are not left behind in technology as they haveused it to communicate, interact and even play. Unlike in the pastwhen children used to play outdoors, children today are in the houseplaying video games, chatting or watching television. The internetespecially has brought children to a whole new experience. Parentstoday also buy their children tech devices so that they can keep thembusy while the parents are busy balancing between work, family andsocial life (Buckingham & Willett, 2013). Whereas thesetechnologies have been tremendous and have enhanced the way we live,they affect children in a negative way. The three areas that will bethe focus of this paper include effect of technology on childdevelopment, effects on health and finally the effects on privacy andassociated effects. Essentially, there is need for stakeholders tocome together and help children benefit from technology.
Technologyinterferes with the development of a child. The four critical factorssignificant for achieving healthy child development includingmovement, touch, exposure to nature and human connection are hinderedwhen children use technological devices. These forms of sensoryinputs ensure normal development of bilateral coordination, posture,self regulation and optimal arousal state which are fundamental foracquiring skills for eventual school entry. When children play withtechnological devices such as video games, tablets, watch television,stay in front of their computers for hours, they miss an opportunityto develop this important skills. In return, it affects their braindevelopment as described by Rowan (2013) in his article “The Impactof Technology on the Developing Child”.
Consequently,the sedentary and the frenzied lifestyle that children get fromtechnology are unhealthy. The issue of obesity among children in theUnited States has become a national epidemic thanks to the increaseduse of technology by children. Instead of playing outside traditionalgames, children of nowadays are involved in indoor and sedentaryactivities. In addition, when children are inactive, they lack thenecessary skills or confidence to learn. For example Rowan (2013)indicates that diagnoses of autism, attention deficiencyhyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental delays, unintelligiblespeech, anxiety, sleep disorders, and coordination disorders areassociated with overuse of technology. Similarly, overuse of internettechnology is affecting the development of a child’s brain. Forinstance, Clinton and Stayer (2012) argues that excessive hypertextand multimedia content has been associated in some children to lowercomprehension, limited attention span, greater risk for depression,poor focus, and diminish long term memory. This affects the way achild learns in class and becomes a momentous behavior managementsetback for teachers in class.
Technologyhas also revolutionized the way we communicate and interact,jeopardized the basic privacy of a person. Adults have been victimsof online bullying, with all the knowledge or know-how on issues ofprivacy. This leads to the question of children in regards to privacyin the use of technology. Since internet use has no age limit,children are finding themselves on social media at an early age.Despite a person being required to be of a given age to use a certaintechnology such as Facebook which is 13 years, younger children cancheat and have an account and do all that other people do online(Buckingham & Willett, 2013). Without knowledge, such childrensend private information online. They become easy targets of cyberbulling and cyber crime including sexual exploitation. Of noteworthyis the irreversible effect that this kind of privacy breach can causeto a child. Their personality development is significantly affectedand may influence their lives forever. Clinton argues that, our newworld of technological fascination and multitasking has affectedbasically everything from our thoughts processes and work routine toour capacity to think linearly and the way we feel about ourselves,strangers and friends. This, Clinton and Stayer says, is somethingthat happened overnight (2003). Children are not an exception theyfind themselves in the same situation when they get online. They areentangled in a network of friends, strangers and are exposed to theworld negatively.
Consideringthe effects that technology has on children, it is important forstakeholders including parents, technology developers, educators, andthe government at large to come together and find a way forward onthe use of technology and children. If the status quo is maintained,the future generation will be very different in terms of skills,knowledge, health and even socialization. Whereas there are variousbenefits also associated with technology use in children, thedelimitations are eminent and cannot be overlooked. From a basicpoint of view, parents are in the right position to help or regulatethe use of technology by their children both at home as well as inschool.
Buckingham,D., & Willett, R. (Eds.). (2013). Digitalgenerations: Children, young people, and the new media.Routledge.
Clinton,C. and Stayer, J. (2012). Isthe Internet hurting children?Retrievedhttp://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/21/opinion/clinton-steyer-internet-kids/(Accessed 6/11/2014).
Rowan,C. (2013). TheImpact of Technology on the Developing Child.Retrievedhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/technology-children-negative-impact_b_3343245.html(Accessed 6/11/2014).