Adverse effects of technology on children

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From mobiles to laptops, we can not imagine our life without technology. Today the world has turned into a global village. The technological advancements brought so many positives with it, yet we need to ask ourselves, is technology good for children? Is technology really playing a crucial role in making children a being of the 21st century, or is it just making them socially detached?

As a being of this new century, we all are so intertwined with technology that our whole world would come to a stop if we stop using the technology for even a single day. Given that, the kids have to use mobile phones and laptops for the rest of their adult lives. Does providing them with all these tech instruments at such an early age help them? 

Let’s analyse the effects of technology on a child’s development.

Technology leading to obesity

One best selling feature of technology is that it gives you convenience. This best-selling feature, if exploited, can become a curse quickly too. 

Children who are more dependent on technology spend less time outdoors or working on any physical activities. Research has found that screen time during meals also pushes children towards more mindless eating. 

Eating when done with concentration and being aware of the food nourishes the body. The body itself sends the signal of it being full. With increasing screen times during dinner time, the children are less aware of the meals they are taking in. The quantity also gets messed up, and they tend to overeat. This is one of the reasons for growing obesity among children nowadays.

Encourage kids to play outside sports. Give them some time at the start and help them inculcate the habit of playing in the open rather than on screens. With time, the children will adapt to this new routine and learn team skills.

Technology and hindered social development

Technology has changed the way we interact with people around us. From sending out letters and meeting family and friends on weekends to connect with them over a text message. From experiencing the happy moments fully to clicking pictures to show the world how enriching their experience is. This drastic change is having a negative impact on children’s social development.

 Children are spending so much time on social media, being fed with digitally altered content, pictures, and videos. They are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of comparison and tailored views. These all lead to low self-esteem in children. 

This and the plethora of unwanted content on the internet can shape a child in an unpleasant way. Try and keep a check over their browsing history, and constant updates from their friends on their behaviours would help you help your child grow healthy. Another way is to introduce them to many group games and encourage one on one outings and meeting with family and friends rather than on social media. Remind them that what the internet shows you isn’t actually the reality and help them shape their perspectives in a healthier way.

Technology and reducing attention span

With variety comes difficulty to choose. With difficulty comes a low attention span. The time when we only had limited ways to entertain ourselves and gain knowledge is long gone. The era is here where you have the entire understanding of this civilisation at your fingertips. You can access anything, anywhere. It is good, right? Maybe not so much. 

For children, too many options result in a reduced attention span. They know they have so much to watch, to listen that they find it hard to stay on one and enjoy it. Research has shown that the average attention span of humans has been reduced to 8 seconds from 12seconds. 

Teaching kids patience is not an easy task. Combine it with a device full of content. You have a recipe for disaster. The urge to stay on trend and know what is new is not a very good thing for growing kids. Promote unplugging in your house. Staying away from the constant bombardment of content and information is the need. 

Talk at the dinner table. Involve your children with you in small household chores and reward them when they finish a task. In this way, they will learn to concentrate on the work given on time and try to finish it. 

Technology and bad sleep quality

Research has shown that reduced sleep quality has direct relations to increased screen time. Screen, directly and indirectly, hampers our sleep quality. When the kids are using the phones for an extended period of time, the eyes get affected negatively. 

Even when they sleep, the quality reduces as we generally have at least one device in our room. Watching screens just before sleeping messes up with hormones in our bodies that help us sleep. Doctors suggest that one must aim for a completely dark room to have quality sleep. Sleep quality plays a crucial role in brain health. 

The importance of quality sleep increases with the kids as they are in their learning phase, and quality sleep can ensure better brain health. Set timings for screen time and promote no screen time at least half an hour before sleeping in your house. This way, you can manage your kid’s sleep quality. 

We know that you really cannot rule out technology entirely in today’s world. One has to indulge with technology, even kids. Parents just need to understand the positive and negative impacts of technology on their children and manage their 

children’s screen time. Talk to them and analyse their needs. Work out a schedule you are comfortable with to balance the screen and real-life experience.

Children see their parents and copy. Hence, make sure you are also setting up an example for your kids to manage their screen times. Have the fruits of years of science and hard work but do not let it rule you.

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