Technology vs childhood development: Are you the master or is technology ruling you?
Allure of technology how much is too much? These are the question we ask ourselves everyday but without actually giving an answer to ourselves. But till how long?
Technology and Childhood: Risk Vs Benefit. I do not deny the fact that technology has indeed changed our lives but is it for the better or for the worse? Young children are amazing and there is no doubt about it and the fact that they can operate a touch screen is really no more fascinating than early reading. While technology has an undeniable allure, an attraction that is difficult even for many of us adults to ignore, but how much is too much?
With the huge impact of technology on us including our young generation, gone are the days when you would find a young girl playing with hula hoops or a boy playing with a ball in the garden. Nowadays you would rather find them hooked on to their parent’s Smartphone or tablet.
If you are living in a developed nation or a developing nation, I bet you would have definitely come across parents who would have proudly announced that their 2 year kid could open phone applications on their Smartphone. Masters of imagination, children of the past created their own form of play that dint really require any technology or parental supervision. Today children rely mostly on technology for playing, which has led to poor imagination, creativity and learning abilities. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study found that US youths spent more than seven and a half hours a day using a Smartphone, computer, television or other electronic device. Majority of the brain development occurs between the ages of 0 to 3 and a lot many things are responsible for this very rapid development. If the infant’s environment is nurturing, kind and promotes development, the infant attains optimal physical, mental and social growth necessary to achieve academic success. Animals are born fully developed whereas for human infants, coordinated running may take up to two years, provided they move.
Four critical factors responsible for healthy development of an infant are movement, human connection, touch and exposure to nature. Instead this is now replaced by apps, televisions and touch screens. Hence children nowadays find it difficult to pay attention in the classrooms which is very necessary for learning. Technology has not only impacted the mental development of children but also their physical development. The percentage of obesity and diabetes among children is increasing day by day with physical movement restricted to moving and getting either the TV remote or the iPod.
Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are associated with technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. Moreover it is sad that constant use of technology has also led to more number of children wearing glasses at a very young age. A more disturbing fact is that even parents nowadays encourage their children to play with their iphones so as to stop them from asking too many questions. The level of curiosity in a kid has hugely decreased due to this. Hence, it’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships.
How much time should a child be spending online or playing apps and games? Do you still want to wait and let it destroy our new generation’s growth? STOP! STOP! STOP! The use of CUT, COPY AND PASTE, is killing the beauty and understanding of languages and changed communication patterns. Why not cut on use of technology, copy the limited use of technology and paste anew formula for upbringing a healthy new generation.
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