In the recent years, it has become the new norm for children to be exposed to technology at a young age. iPads, TV’s and game devices are seen as an accessory or a toy for kids in this day age. However, an increasing number of pediatricians and parents are concerned about this trend, and they are right to be worried. Not only is it taking away their precious childhood, where they should be using their imagination and doing recreational activities, but it is affecting them as a whole. Technology interferes with their physical, social and psychological development because it limits their opportunity to develop skills involving that will be critical in their life.
An article published by the Huffington Post called, “The Impact of Technology on Developing Children”, explains that a child needs four critical factors to develop properly being movement, touch, human connection, exposure to nature. Further analysis shows that the tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, while the visual and auditory and in overload. With that said, with technology advancing rapidly, children spend up to 7.5 hours a day using overusing their certain systems, and it defeats the purpose of children going outside to play and get their daily amount of exercise which results in various health issues such as obesity. Time outside offers to keep them healthy while their brains and learn necessary skills to help them later in life, but many spend the majority of their days staring at a screen.
Social media is changing the way the future generation thinks, understands, and interacts with one another. In a report published by the University of Rhode island called “Determining the Effects of Technology on Children”, it explains the many negatives that come along with young children using technology. In the report it was found that when using technology, such as phones, computers etc., at a developing age, people then have a lessened ability to multitask and changes social norms. Children exposed to cellphones and computers that access social media offers them to hide behind a “digitally wall”, and is used as a coping method, when they should be learning how to socialize. In the article it states, “As children have more of their communication through electronic media, and less face to face they begin to feel more lonely or depressed.” With that said, shy children will often be able to communicate over the internet versus learning how to overcome those issues face to face. Social media is becoming a substitution for personal interaction, affecting how young children learn how to socialize because of their easy access to technology.
Video games and Apps also affects the health of children, as it refrains them from movement and touch. More than half of children in America have a TV in their room with a video, and a high percentage has access to iPads, computers and video games. According to British Columbia's Society of Occupational Therapists, in their 2009 newsletter it says, “Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting necessary challenges to their bodies in order to achieve optimal sensory and motor development…”. With these devices scattered around their homes, it creates a world of 2D where there aren’t stimulating touch and movement into their playtime.
As technology advances, the risks only grow. Children need to be aware of these issues, alongside their parents to keep them on the right track to being healthy and developing properly. Technology should be used in small doses, to give children time to spend outside, socialize, and stimulated movement and touch in their everyday lives. If technology exposure is left unchecked, then these children risk growing up to be stuck in a world not knowing fundamental skills.
Rowan, Cris. "The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 May 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
Hetch, Kristina. "Determining the Effects of Technology on Children." Digital Commons. University of Rhode Island, 2011. Web.
Rowan, Chris. "The Impact of Technology on Child Sensory and Motor Development." The Impact of Technology on Child Sensory and Motor Development by Cris Rowan, OTR (n.d.): n. pag. Sensomotorische. OTR. Web.
Shields, Margie K., and Richard E. Behrnam. "The Future of Children, Princeton - Brookings: Providing Research and Analysis to Promote Effective Policies and Programs for Children." - The Future of Children -. Princeton Brookings, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.