Children in the 21st century are fond of technology – far more than in previous generations. This increase in use has brought much attention to the consequences of technology use, and how it affects children’s brains and their socio-emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Much of the research in these areas, especially brain-based research, is in its infancy. Furthermore, it often shows little association between technology use and child outcomes; Whether technology causes these results is unclear, and the small effect size brings up questions about real-life implications for children.
Despite these issues, policymakers in various countries have set guidelines for the use of technology in children, which are often restriction-focused. You can explore some of the literature on the effects of technology use on children in terms of their brain, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development, and summarizes what is visible in the literature. It also highlights that more quality research is needed to better understand the impact of technology on children and to support the development of effective, evidence-based guidelines.
If you look around you now, you probably won’t be surprised to see that you are surrounded by digital technology all day every day. Digital technology refers to anything that is computerized. Almost every aspect of our lives is controlled by computers. The music we listen to right now is saved in digital technology formats, whether it’s downloaded or streaming on platforms like Spotify or Pandora. Most of us carry around with digital technology at our fingertips thanks to our smartphones. The TVs we watch now are also Smart TVs.
Are we still smart? This is a question that relies more and more on computers for everything. This question is debated even more when we think about kids who are developing with computer technology, and they are being used everywhere.
The new generation is playing online games, accessing websites (sometimes harmful websites), chatting online on Facebook, sharing photos on Instagram and Snapchat, and so on. This doesn’t mean that spending time online is a bad thing, but spending too much time online can actually weaken the bond between parent and child, and also lead to the child improving many social skills in private.
Negative Impacts of Technology On Children
- Relationship and Social Skills Issues: Children are using mobile devices more and more, and they may be addicted to them, not spending enough time with their family and/or friends. They are also more likely to actually connect with friends, share photos, and text online than actually meet them in person.
- Health Problems: Excessive use of mobile devices can be harmful to children’s health. The more mobile devices they use, the less physical activity they do. The problem is that playing online games is combined with snacking in place of a balanced diet. As kids spend more time in front of those screens, most of the time on the couch, the less time they spend outside playing, running, and burning calories. Over time, those habits can lead to notable weight gain.
- Browsing Online Can Be Dangerous: Kids can go online and search for anything. But with the right monitoring, they will not be able to access the websites of threats, avoiding meeting with dangerous people. Keep in mind that you can always guide your kids to avoid those dangers. One way to help kids stay safe online is by using parental controls and Internet filtering tools to select the content they’re able to access or by blocking browsers for as long as you deem it appropriate. can.
- Overuse of Mobile Devices Decreases Sleep Quality: Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on our brains. During sleep, the brain performs some “housekeeping” tasks that are not important and restores the neural network to be ready again for a new day. But sleeping less means we’re depriving our brain of what it needs and we’ll struggle with our activities during the day.
Positive Cognitive Effects
Kids love to play games on computers and their consoles and, as you probably know, doing so can take hours. Although it has been downplayed in the past by people who do not fully understand video games, studies have begun to show that it does indeed appear to be helpful for children to play computer and video games. Helps in the development of cognitive skills, or thinking skills, to look at images on a screen and analyze what to do. There is also some evidence that it helps to recognize images in general, which is an essential skill in nonverbal communication.
Apart from playing, children also use computers for learning. For example, educational software has evolved. Teachers have used these to connect children who have grown up knowing nothing but computers. Most educational software enables children to learn to identify the correct answers. This can help with multiple choice and standardized tests in which the correct answer is easy in front of them.
Many early cognitive skills develop during the preschool-age period. This is the time when children are at home or daycare. Digital technology for this age group aims to present pictures, letters, and numbers for them to interact with. Seeing these can help young children learn the alphabet, the sequence of numbers, and the names of simple everyday objects in a way that they are more likely to have fun.
So, is technology good or bad for kids? It just depends on how you grow them and what content you introduce them to. We must keep in mind that the Internet has both positive and negative effects. In this way, we can not only help kids reap its benefits, but we can also protect them from its harmful effects.
– Amrin Ahmed