How Technology Affects Child Development

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Technology is referred to as the knowledge, skills, processes, and techniques needed to manufacture tools and equipment for people’s needs. We definitely can’t imagine life without it. We might believe that, based on this concept, we should only concentrate on the benefits of technology.

We are surrounded by technology in today’s society. Technology evolves on a daily basis and will always be a part of our lives. The impact of technology on our children has provoked both criticism and praise. Children today have no choice but to be affected in some way by the ever-increasing technological advancements in our societies.

The role of technology in early childhood, from birth to the age of twelve, is a hotly debated subject. Parents and educators are worried about the potential benefits and harm to children in their early years. Technology in classrooms, according to critics, wastes time, resources, and childhood itself by speeding up the learning process and reducing critical learning activities.

While technology has many positive aspects for learning, it can also have a number of negative consequences for children’s growth and quality of life.

However, with all of this continual exposure to technology, there are some legitimate questions about how it affects children’s development. We are venturing into unknown territory; as previous generations have never experienced such ubiquitous technical immersion. However, experts are beginning to see what this level of technology will do to children and their future.

Children are the first people who come to mind when we talk about unintentional technology usage. Instead of calling it “unconsciousness,” we should call it “option” when an adult uses technology in a negative way. Kids, on the other hand, are usually unaware of the potential negative effects of technology, which are caused by its inappropriate use.

Although many people see the disadvantages of such technology use, there are also advantages. The real question is what parents and teachers can do to help children use technology in beneficial ways while avoiding making them slaves to it and the negative consequences that this can have on their lives.

As a result, we’d like to remind adults about the potential positive and negative implications of technology.

Negative effects

Bullying  

Bullying is on the rise as technology advances. Technology and social media are being used by children and teenagers to threaten other children without having to face them in person. This phenomenon is also known as cyberbullying. It is growing in popularity among younger students especially. We must be very mindful of external risks since the technology that children are interested in are generally connected to the Internet. Bullying can occur in games and applications that necessitate online communication. The internet tends to bring about the worst in people, apparently in both children and adults. Getting bullied online is a major psychological stressor among children and teenagers.

This will eventually lead to depression. Depression is a major problem that is linked to increased media consumption. As a result, suicide rates have risen, and more young people are requiring mental health interventions such as medication and counseling.

Harms Attention Spans

When it comes to children and technology, one of the most common concerns is the effect on attention span. The way children’s brains are wired could be evolving as a result of their exposure to technology. What is the reason for this? Since, unlike an adult’s brain, the brain of a child is still evolving and hence malleable. When children are exposed to technology at a high rate, their brains can adopt an internet-style approach to thinking, scanning and processing multiple sources of data. Whereas previous generations may have spent much more time reading, imagining, or engaging in activities that require focused attention, children exposed to high volumes of technology may respond to constant visual stimuli, rapid change, and little need for imagination.

Social interaction issues 

Younger children are having difficulties with face-to-face social encounters as they spend more time on computers. Many people seem to prefer texting or chatting on social media to conversing in person. The good news is, when children spend time together, they might spend less time texting or being on their phones.

Reduced Sleep Quality 

Technology’s negative effects on children’s health are not limited to the ones listed above. Sleeping disorders can affect both children and adults. Children on technology should be monitored not only in terms of what they’re doing and where they’re doing it, but also in terms of how long and when they’re doing it.

Children and adults are more vulnerable to developing an addiction. How many times do you have to remind your kid that it’s time to go to bed before they finally do so? Having the proper Internet protection measures in place for children would eliminate both sleep deprivation.

Furthermore, when children are exposed to screen time in the evening, harmful blue light disrupts sleep by suppressing the hormone melatonin, which controls the sleep-wake cycle. As a result, it becomes more difficult for a child’s body to properly prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Increased Aggression

Kids, as we all know, have a far larger imagination than adults. As a result, they are more prone to the material they encounter. Children can be introduced to scary elements in the films, cartoons, or games they watch and play. Children will eventually be linked to content like MOMO and the Blue Whale, as well as cartoon characters that cut each other up. Children who are unable to distinguish between the actual and the imaginary can face difficulties such as a fear of being alone, nightmares, and the inability to go to the bathroom alone.

Similarly, when they watch violent videos or play violent games, they may develop violent tendencies when they get older. To avoid negative tendencies from building up, children should have access to internet protection.

Falling grades

Many students today can see their grades fall as a result of spending more time in technology. More time spent on technology means less time spent on homework, and the type of technological changes that occur can cause students to struggle with homework such as reading and writing.

Obesity 

Children who spend more time indoors on their phones or tablets spend less time outdoors running and playing. They develop technology-use behaviors that do not include physical activity.

When you spend time with technology, you spend time sitting. The irony of portable devices is that they allow users to be mostly still. Given the amount of time children are said to spend with electronics these days, active indoor or outdoor playtime has been largely replaced by this sedentary practice. When children or adolescents are engrossed in a video game or other form of media, they may forego other important activities such as eating or sleeping.

Positive Effects

Perseverance and problem-solving

Survival mode in the popular game Minecraft is one way for players to develop their problem-solving skills. They are specifically dropped into new and unfamiliar worlds, where they must quickly build shelter and gather resources such as weapons and food in order to survive.

With technology comes freedom of thinking, and with that freedom comes the opportunity for kids to set out on their own and accomplish something. They encounter roadblocks and obstacles along the way that must be addressed if they are to achieve their objectives, so they learn how to overcome them.

Whether it’s trying to create a shelter in the Minecraft world or debugging a line of code, both of these challenges help to develop a deep sense of perseverance. As a result, they’ll be motivated to come up with their own ideas when they run into difficulties with technology or outside of it, such as a homework dilemma, a dispute with a friend, or some personal difficulty.

Creativity and freedom of expression 

Children’s imaginations are huge; they can’t be contained. Whereas in the past they only had crayons and colored markers to get their ideas out and into a conveyable shape, they today have laptops, tablets, and so much more to help them transform their ideas into reality.

Sure, they still have pens and paper, but instead of or in addition to drawing an image, they can now make a 3D animation, which they can then send to a 3D printer to be turned into a physical object. Who knows, maybe their invention will turn into a million-dollar venture.

Interacting with technology has taught a variety of skills, each of which has its own creative outlet. Programming a video game or a smartphone app is the expression of coding.

Preparing for future tech careers 

If technology advances, there will be a greater need for professionals who are prepared to pursue technology careers. Children who are enthusiastic about technology and the possibilities it provides from an early age are better prepared for their future and the opportunities it provides. Children should begin learning technical skills that they will need in the future at a young age.

Mental Skill Development with Educational Contents

Children’s brain activities are restricted by the resources and equipment they have, so they must repeat the same exercises over and over. However, there are a lot of options now. Technology’s positive impact on early childhood education can be extremely beneficial. These advantages include educational and instructional activities such as games and apps that enhance cognitive skills.

Today, you will find memory games for children who want to improve their memory, attention games for children who want to improve their attention, visual games for children who want to improve their visual abilities, and many more. As a result, with the right apps and healthy internet use for kids can be beneficial, enabling them to play brain games instead of racing games. Children have constant access to applications that teach foreign languages, provide advice on society and ethics, games and applications that provide practice in mathematical operations, and similar applications that provide knowledge through gamification.

Socialization and relationship building 

At the risk of sounding alarmist, the chances of your child finding other kids with whom to connect and bond over technology far outnumber the chances of them finding kids who don’t use or enjoy technology.

Video games, social media, and smartphone applications are all hobbies and passions in the same way that sports, reading, and other activities are. As a result, there are two ways to use technology to socialize.

For one thing, kids can communicate with other kids as users – much like they would over baseball cards or TV shows – and two, they can connect inside the technologies themselves, such as through live chat during video game sessions, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

And if they want to take their passions to the next level by creating their own video games or learning to code in a boot camp or class environment, they’ll be sharing and learning with like-minded peers, which is another opportunity to form strong bonds. You never know where your child’s early STEM exposure and the relationships that result will lead. As they progress through education, internships, and jobs, they’re basically “networking” and gaining new tech allies with each project.

Improved multitasking 

Technology has been shown to help young children learn how to multitask more effectively, according to studies. Although multitasking never allows you to completely concentrate on one activity, students will learn how to listen and type to take notes, as well as other multitasking tasks that will aid them in their potential success.

Increase in IQ 

The new generation’s IQ scores are higher than the previous generation’s. The findings do not improve when the Flynn effect is taken into account, even if each new IQ test is made more complicated than the previous ones.

There is evidence linking this result to technological advancements. The rise in the number of technological items in children’s lives, as well as the resulting increase in stimulation, serve as practice for children to solve more complex problems. The beneficial impact of technology on child growth, such as enhanced IQ and cognitive skills, are only a few of the many advantages that come with proper technology use.

Conclusion

Are there cons to exposing kids to technology? Of course. Like all things, there has to be a good and a bad. But remember this—the bad usually stems from abuse and extremes. Eating pizza is good. Eating a whole pizza is bad. Sleeping is also good. Sleeping all day? Typically, bad.

It is our responsibility as parents to find the RIGHT ways for our children to communicate with technology. To do so, we must first comprehend how technology affects our children and how to promote appropriate use of technology. Instead of having a negative impact on their actions and growth, the aim is for technology to have a positive impact.

Always, always communicate with your child. If you are not an oppressive parent who constantly shakes their finger and does not suppress your kid, he or she will be more honest with you. You would be aware of the possible risks if your child is secure enough to come to you when they have a suspicion. Internet protection for kids means that they can feel comfortable confiding in you about their issues and insecurities.

Explain to your child that some applications are not suitable for them. They know not to speak to strangers on the street in real life, but clarify that the internet is no different, and that the apps that can be used to connect with others in either oral or written form are not appropriate for them. If they are contacted online, notify them that they must share this information with you without responding to the post. Sharing ideas on how to stay healthy online with your children will keep them from making inappropriate connections.

Do not ignore the wishes and needs of your child. Instead of banning, set a regular usage time for your children and provide them with trustworthy material. Take into account each new game you want to download. When you want to watch a video, choose which program to use. Provide the appropriate information and more importantly, trustworthy information.

So, how does technology affect a child’s development? Is technology good or bad for kids? It simply depends on how you raise them and which contents you introduce them to.

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