In today’s day and age, technology is everywhere. The younger generations are growing up in an unprecedented time. There has never been so much technology. Television, Cell Phones, iPods, iPads, computers, video games, and the list goes on and on. As adults, we all have to wonder what are the effects that so much technology has on young people? What are the positives? What are the negatives? And how much is too much? Here are a few things you need to know:
- There may be medical reasons to limit your children’s use of technology. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who spend more than two hours a day in front of a screen (television, computer, etc…) are more likely to perform poorly academically, be obese, have behavioral issues and have sleep problems.
- Early exposure to technology can actually hinder childhood development. Children between ages 0 and 10 years old need to be physically active to develop and learn properly. However, when technology is introduced early on, children are far less active and may develop more slowly.
- Just saying NO to technology is NOT the way to go! Let’s face it, children are constantly exposed to technology and it is more integrated in schools than ever before. Telling your child no to technology may be just as detrimental to their development as allowing them to use it too much. The key is limits not denial.
- The media is skewed. We all know it. The question is what impact might this have on your children? The great majority of television programming is violent and/or highly-sexualized. Women are objectified and traditional gender roles are prevalent. Not to mention that in spite of the diversity in the non-fictionalized television world, mainstream media is still predominantly white-washed, and minority roles are stereotypical in many cases.
- Overuse of technology by children can lead to social isolation. Even though they may be “connected” to “friends” through social media, they are ultimately isolated and alone. This can lead to a lack of social skills, increased rates of depression and anxiety, and a lack of meaningful relationships. In spite of the wonderful uses for social media, people still need face-to-face social interactions.
- Children being in the cyber universe could lead to real dangers. Catfishing is very real. And so is the issue of predators on the internet. You need to teach your children to be conscious of their actions online and to always be cautious. You never know who you are talking to online. Make sure to keep an eye on what your child is doing when online!
The lesson learned here is pretty simple. Technology is not all good and not all bad. As with everything in life, it is about balance. Too much is bad and too little can put your kids at a disadvantage in the future because of the prevalence of technology in all facets of life. Technology is used for educational purposes and allows students to access a great deal of information in the blink of an eye. Technology is used in the workplace at an ever-increasing rate as well. So the moral of the story is that you need to keep an eye on your kids technology use, and you should establish boundaries but you can’t keep them away from it entirely.