The Dangers of Technology to Kids

By Pia Marie Balquiedra  |  Posted: November 7, 2018


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    There’s no escaping technology. Kids of today’s generation are raised around and with smart devices. It has now become the new normal, as people use it to communicate or consume entertainment.

     

    Because of that reality, the time that kids spend on gadgets has been increasing. The issue of “the right amount of screen time” for kids has always been a sensitive and debatable topic. Parents have different viewpoints about the degree of importance of technology in their children’s lives—should they be exposed to that much screen time at such a young age?

     

    It doesn’t help that smart tech is advancing at a much faster rate than studies about its effects can keep up, resulting in a lack of understanding about the issue. The panic parents feel cause them to absorb any information they find, whether or not verified by legitimate sources.

     

    That said, being a parent in this day and age is undeniably different than a decade or so ago. Parents of today’s generation have had to deal with managing the relationship of their kids with gadgets.

     

    It’s worthy to note that too much exposure to technology can pose threats to your kids. Keeping them glued to their phones will rob them of the ability to experience the world around them, leading to cognitive development delays and lack of social skills.

     

    If you want to know how else technology is affecting your child’s growth and development, here’s some information for you to consider.

     

    Why Kids in Particular?

     

    The Australian Institute of Family Studies only recommends two hours of screen time for kids. This is way off base from the actual number of hours kids today are exposed to. Why is it critical for us to control the screen time of our children?

     

    Generally speaking, too much of anything can be bad for you. However, kids need more guidance because of the various intellectual and motor developments that happen at this stage. Kids aged 0-5 are learning how to crawl, walk, speak, jump, and all sorts of necessary movements to fully experience the world around them. Tech may interfere with this natural progression that kids experience all because they were left unattended by their parents.

     

    This doesn’t mean it’s safe for those 5 and above though. Kids aged 5-10 are only learning how to navigate their feelings and adapt to the social cues around them. KidsMatter reports that early exposure to social media can increase a child’s chances of becoming cyberbullied. Overstimulation with social media may cause poor emotional management and lead to depression and self-esteem issues.

     

    Simply put, technology may be too overwhelming for children to handle on their own. Thus, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way as soon as they are allowed to control these gadgets.

     

    Technology Isn’t All That Bad

     

    While the unsupervised use of technology may have adverse effects on young children, it’s equally wrong to stop them from using all kinds of technology. In this increasingly tech-savvy world, it’s important for children to get a good grasp of how to use technology and other smart devices.

     

    Here are some practical uses technology has to offer to kids when managed correctly:

    • It can give them access to educational materials with an instant click of a button.
    • Better audio-visual representation of some lessons you are trying to teach them.
    • Can enhance their speech and vocabulary by engaging in educational content.
    • Great communication tool for when you are away from your children.
    • Opens them into a window of opportunities for when they get older.

     

    Many productive things can be done with gadgets, so get creative! Managing your child’s usage in the early stages is advisable, but it’s important to introduce them properly so they can get all the positive effects from it in the future.

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    As parents, you want nothing but the best for your children. Don’t feel guilty about setting strict rules about screen time and gadget usage at home. Teach your kids how to be responsible with their tech and encourage them to engage in physical activities.

     

    There will be plenty of time for your child to tinker with such devices later on. The important thing is you want to achieve is balance. Monitoring your young ones responsibly will allow you to harness the positive effects of technology and help them to adapt well in this world dominated by technology.

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