Technology has integrated our everyday life with such permanence and fixation that there is no going back. Children born in recent times have been so accustomed to technology that they cannot imagine life without it. Since they have grown up with technology, they are used to getting instant results. According to research, children between the age of 8 and 10 spend an average of 8 hours consuming some form of technology, and teenagers around 11 hours of media consumption. This is more than the total time they spend in school.
In order to keep a check on your child’s internet activity, you need to know the basic apps they use and which social networking or other websites they consume regularly. Some security apps even let you use parental locks on adult websites so you do not have to worry about checking their internet histories at all times. It’s best to get good internet service like AT&T for your home so you can block out unwanted websites with the help of your internet service provider. You can check AT&T availability in your area through their website.
While technology has enabled our children to learn and get worldwide exposure from a very early age, there are many negative implications of the constant use of technology. Let us look at some of the negative effects technology has had on children at this age.
Negative Implications of Technology on Children
1. Reduced Attention
Children in their learning age need a good focus and attention span to be able to grasp all the various types of information that they receive in school. Technology, however, has led to a reduction in the attention span of young children. The immediate action of technology has created this need to get results instantly. Children who have been used to this quick response do not like to wait before getting their required results. This has resulted in a reduction in attention span as they do not receive instant gratification from slower learning processes.
2. Lack of Privacy
Being exposed to the digital world means whatever action you take is open and anybody can learn about you and your life online. Children who have grown up using social networking sites do not care for keeping their private matters private. They feel the need to share everything online, be it their pictures, videos, information about their personal life, etc. This has led to a greater risk of digital fraud, hacking, privacy breaches, cyber harassment and so much more.
It is difficult to contain or restrict their digital presence now when social media has become such an integral part of our lives.
3. Health Risks
Spending a lot of time on the Internet has been recorded to cause depression in people. According to research, people who consume social media extensively are more likely to be affected by mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Apart from mental health, physical health is also affected by increased use of the Internet and social media. When people spend most of their time in front of screens, consuming media, they move less and their physical activity diminishes. This causes issues like obesity, which may lead to cardiovascular diseases that can be fatal.
Children especially in their growing age need to spend time outdoors, doing physical activity to help their bodies develop and grow. If they’re spending their time hooked to computers or their phones, they may end up having both physical and mental health issues.
4. Social Anxiety
Children who spend a lot of time with technology tend to get comfortable in isolation. Since they do not talk or listen to other people but rather only spend time in front of the screen consuming one or the other sort of media, they dread social interaction. A lack of confidence and social awkwardness develop in kids when they are not used to face-to-face interactions. This can be very dangerous later in life when they grow up and need to interact as well as work with others to survive.
Digital spaces are very vulnerable when it comes to harassment. People hide behind their digital profiles to exploit, ridicule or harass others, especially, when a child or teenager is on the receiving end. Children can also bully their friends online where there is no fear of an adult intervening or preventing any bad behavior. It is therefore very important to keep a check on your child’s online activity and have regular open conversations with them so they can trust you for help.
Technology is here to help improve our lives and not deteriorate our health, social life or compromise our well-being. Children who are at a vulnerable age need to be protected from overwhelming exposure to media and technology so they can learn to keep a balance, only using technology for its advantages.