Posted By Eleanor
Children and Technology


Children in this century are tentatively born with technological devices in their hands. All through the years, observing the trend that technology influences children, it goes without saying that kids are spending more time in front of screens, phones, and other modern gadgets that their parents and guardians willingly buy to help them in their development (Wolpert). Is it right to say, the type of technology that parents expose to their children plays a fundamental role in the development of their interaction with people around them?

On the contrary, according to the results of several researches, the constant usage of these devices, render children in an antisocialism state. These devices inhibit their capability and worth to interact with people. More worryingly is that it also impairs their ability to recognize other people’s emotions. To prove this, the University of California at Los Angeles conducted research on sixth-graders comparing those who didn’t use their phones to those who used their phones constantly in correlation to reading people emotions (Wolpert). The results pointed out that sixth-graders who went for five days without exposure to technology showed a greater level of reading people’s emotions compared to those who spent most of their time on their phones as they normally do. Technology, without a doubt, makes compromises any attempt related to movement and exercise. On top of it all, technology expresses a great association between long usage of electronic devices and irregular sleeping patterns in children. The association extends to child obesity, and behavioral and social issues (Hornidge 222).

Schools nowadays, although trying to improve the quality of education, hurry to put these iPads and the likes, in the hands of these kids regardless of the social cost and implications they may face in the future. The implications of using these gadgets have exuded more of negative effects than good that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stepped forward cautioning that the time children spend with interacting with their electronic gadgets in the name of exploring technology,  needs to be cut back to significant amounts. The organization also advise that children aged between 3-18 years should have around 2 hours of screen time while those younger should get none at all (Radesky and Christakis).

All things considered, the rate at which children interact with technology should be closely monitored since it can implicate their future and how they perceive the world as a whole. The significance of them learning through firsthand experience beats any virtual setting they may get from the computer or other gadgets. On the other hand, technology is considered as a necessary evil, since it also helps children acquire useful knowledge for their successful development in ways that their parents and their immediate surroundings cannot.

Back in the old days, there wasn’t so much technology but just enough for people to be curious about the whole concept. However, carrying out certain activities was challenging, but since there was no other alternative way of doing things, it did not make any big difference. At that time for one to own even a mobile phone they needed to have a significant amount of money and the ability to have the knowledge of operating the phone. The communication style and methods used back then were unique and sometimes proved futile to interpret the kind of information or message that is intended, plus responding to the message took quite a long time. Computers filled a huge gap at since the time they were established. Seeing a computer was quite a sight. Compared to now, the lack of technological development at that time makes it sound like a fairy tale. The children of this era as mentioned earlier are born with technology in their hands all (Radesky and Christakis).

According to research technology helps children in ways that even their parents can’t. For example, Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, states that video games help children master their fears. Many studies usually focus on the prolonged use of these violent and scary video games, which at last bring forth violent natures in youths (Ferguson and Olson 131). According to the review of how psychology works in general by Dr. Olson, stating that the motivations for playing the game for the first time probe the kid who has the knowledge of playing the game teach the other child. In the process, the children would occasionally hang out and casually exchange or converse with their other friends about the same game. This, in turn, builds their character that involves them interacting with other children without a prompt by the parents. In another aspect of the same study, most children, especially children for boys, find a channel of releasing their stress and anger through these video games (Hasan, Bègue, and Bushman 66). Also through the fun of unreality, where the kids experience the world where laws are altered to their concept of fun and challenge makes them forget about the stress they are facing. Even the fact of being a different person in the game and facing different terrifying scenes proved to be very healthy and helpful in dealing with real life situations and an alternative way of releasing pressure (Hasan, Bègue, and Bushman 69).

Another key point is in the field of practical science. Justin Dillion from king’s college in London reviewed this subject in its relation to technology (O’Brien 67). In his report, he sought out how technology can exactly help science, and his conclusion was very surprising. In a typical science class, more or fewer students get to enjoy practical work, which focuses on refining and proving the theories learned in class. Justin Dillon found that this actual work is not as productive as it may often appear to be superficial. Most of these practicals are designed to follow a standard textbook recipe. They consist of a list of directions dictated by the textbook that does not engage the child’s thinking ability and process; rather they follow the printed page (Henriksen, Ellen, Dillon, and Ryder).

In proposition to technology, he again found that using mediums like technology to understand why such things occur or react the way they do, helps the student. This goes well in hand of the school not to waste their materials because the teaching method is ineffective. Although school curriculums are being changed, this can be one of the best integration of technology in schools that helps the child. Technology contains forums and discussions with professionals always ready to help; this tool can be a very useful tool for learning (Tam1130).

Technology is a very powerful tool in all respects. Supporting Dr. Olson, if used in small quantities it can be helpful to develop a child’s brain and mold him to become a quick thinker and imaginative.  The viewpoint of technology, especially from the parent’s perspective, brings no right out of the children. Technology if used correctly can be a very powerful tool for learning and other activities. Like it or not, technology is going to be a part of our lives and is increasingly on the rise. Instead of demonizing technology, it is better to educate our children on how to make good and responsible choices around its interesting concept.

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