Technology and children

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 4
Word count: 1176
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Introduction

In today’s world, there is an aspect of technology in every corner. Currently, people can get different types of news from various sources, on the internet from twitter, facebook, and even media outlet apps (Hatch, 2011). It has been estimated that over 499 million people keep in touch and communicate with friends through the social media. Technology has very many benefits to everyone in the society from old to young, rich to poor educated to uneducated. The direct access to technology and the internet affects people differently. For instance, it can cause antisocial tendencies among frequent users (Weiss & Schneider, 2014). Children have also become avid users of various technological devices, and it is one of the most influenced age group in the society. Parents keep on buying phones for their children who are as young as 10, and laptops are being developed to children as young as three years (Hatch, 2011). This argumentative paper is going to look at various reasons why increased access to technology by children is both advantageous and detrimental to their development.

Benefits

First, studies conducted by different scholars’ show that continued use of technology among children improves their intelligence (Hatch, 2011). For example, the use of technology in classrooms has great benefits since it ease the learning process. In today’s world, workplaces are increasingly incorporating various technological processes in the work process thus making technological skills a crucial work requirement. The use of technology in schools helps students equip themselves with these skills at a much earlier age. The earlier a child exposed to technology the easier it will be for them to access educational materials from the vast range of online-based libraries (Weiss & Schneider, 2014).

The USA department of education has also come out with its studies on the importance of technology to children. The department recognizes the increased importance of technology and thus it has developed ways of regulating it (Weiss & Schneider, 2014). The world is an ever-changing place and if the children want to keep up or stay ahead, they have to change the way they learn. According to the US department of Education, technology allows children to learn through various interactive platforms such as games and other visual presentations (Hatch, 2011). For instance, the children can study the solar system through animations, and the human body through 3-dimensional images.

In addition, children can use technology to supplement to conventional education system that relied solely on physical books (Hatch, 2011). For instance, assistive technology aids the learning process of children with disabilities. For those parents that have children who can see but cannot talk or hear they can use text messages or the Whatsapp platforms to communicate with their children effectively. Another good example of a technological device that helps children is DynaMyte. This is a portable communication device that has been designed in a manner that allows the students with communication disabilities to converse and speak with others through a keyboard composed of symbols (Weiss & Schneider, 2014). Thus, all children within the age of 5 and 12 can receive their education in regular classrooms (ATTO).

Demerits

On the negative side, the use of technology among children has become extremely detrimental. Today, children do not engage in physical games that were common in the olden days (Rowan, 2013). This has brought significant challenges to their bodies thus limiting their ability to achieve their optimal sensory and motor development. The increased reliance on technology by children has negatively affected the children foundation skills for achieving literacy. A section of scholars argues that reliance on technology slows the cognitive process of most children (Rowan, 2013). In addition, there has been an increase in mental and physical effects among children in the recent past. These, effects have been identified as ramifications of quickly evolving technology that does not match the cognitive development process of a child. In the olden days, children used to engage in various physical activities, from riding bicycles to playing games with their age mates (Weiss & Schneider, 2014). These kinds of physical activities kept their bodies active and healthy, and they had a lot of time to socialize with different children of any race or religion. This was good because as they grew up, they managed to understand each other without prejudice and malice.  More so, they could easily resolve problems without resorting to violence. However, as years passed and technology evolved the internet begun to take most of the children’s time (Hatch, 2011). Today, children spend most of their time playing video games and chatting online with their friends.

According to Rowan (2013), a significant number of mental and physical problems among children are related to physical inactiveness. Example of physical problems include disorders such as obesity, diabetes which according to statistics has become a national epidemic that is partially caused by the overuse of technology (Rowan, 2013). Psychological disorders associated with technological overuse include autism, coordination disorder, diagnoses of ADHD, developmental delays, learning difficulties, unintelligible speech, depression, anxiety, sensory processing disorder. The overuse of technology also results in sleeping disorders due to lack of quality sleep. According to the association of psychologists, four basic components are essential for healthy living among children. These include the human connection, touch, movement, and exposure to nature. Putting together these tactile inputs result in improved health among children (Rowan, 2013). Children need to make sufficient tangible stimulation to their vestibular, proactive and material frameworks. To make this possible they require around 3 hours daily of active tumble and rough play (Rowan, 2013).

Other effects of the overuse of technology include the overloading of visual and auditory sensory systems. Psychologists have argued that films with violent themes expose children to high levels of violence thus it becomes hard for them to control their stress levels. This is because the children brain does not know how to separate imagination from reality. Most of the children that are exposed to such violent films have reported experiencing uneasiness that the psychologist describes as persistent hypervigilance (Rowan, 2013). The result of this state is still not known when a child develops into an adult. Lastly, the internet is filled with various types of people. The internet can expose children to pedophiles, serial killers, con men, kidnappers, child molesters, and even those who prey on children for child porn (Hatch, 2011). Thus, there is a need to monitor the children as they use the internet.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that technology has both improved and worsened the performance and behaviors of children these days. As earlier mentioned, technology not only eases the children’s learning process but also increases their learning interest. Conversely, the overuse of technology promotes inactiveness among children that in turn predisposes them to physiological and psychological disorders. Therefore, it is important to note that technology has become a crucial aspect in today’s world and thus it cannot be wished away regardless of its many shortcomings. The only way forward is to come up with ways to diminish its negative effects particularly among children.

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  1. Hatch, K. E. (2011). Determining the effects of technology on children.
  2. Rowan, C. (2013, May 29). The impact of technology on the developing child. The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  3. Weiss, R., & Schneider, J. P. (2014). Closer together, further apart: The effect of technology and the Internet on parenting, work, and relationships.
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