Parents and educators should monitor the influence of modern technology and gadgets on the younger generation, and even more so on the early age of young people. Gone are the days of having more personal interactions with the family members, friends, and acquaintances. The use of technology overpowered the daily activities of a person. It is not the technology itself is the problem but the usage of this technology. There is no point in arguing that the technology caters almost everything to the human needs. Social media is the source of news and information, the latest fashion trends, updates on culture and arts. Not to forget the politics and public opinion about this is can be easily followed by netizens. This may be an advantage to adults but a disadvantage to the young minds.
Technology flourished in the opening of the year 2000 and since then the innovation and modernization of technology continue up to this time. Regarding this matter, the means of communication changes its pattern with the coming out of smartphones, iPads and tablets. With an easy-to-buy gadget, kids ages 3 and up are now getting used to it. This is to blame the parents and adults in allowing these young minds to indulged a lot of their time using such gadgets. The adults allow their children to use this gadget to have their own time by themselves. Young minds are not exempted from this kind of technological influence. Since the modern family set-up is adapted while parents are working in the office and still doing the household chores and attending to the children needs, the parents will use the modern technology and gadgets to keep their children busy and for them the adults to buy some time for them too.
According to Rowan (2013), technology has created a big impact on families in the 21st century. It has caused division within families causing disintegration in their foundation which is held together by core values. The physical interaction with each other is lessened due to the taking over of technological issues. Reminiscing the old days where there are more physical activities done by the children and adult. A study made by Kaiser Foundation as mentioned in the same article by Rowan (2013), children usually spent an average of 7.5 hours daily with the use of gadgets and other entertainment devices. They have also emphasized that 75% of these children have TVs in their bedrooms. Confinement in their own space lessens the socialization aspect within the family members. The same goes for the cognitive learning of the children when they rely on their gadgets for their school works. For the developing child it has been observed there is an increase in physical, psychological and behavioral disorders which is brought out by the use of technology (Rowan, 2013). The technology emerged rapidly for the convenience of the new generation. As the modernization is non-stoppable, thus the people follow on what is seen on TVs’ and social media. Leaving behind the effects it will bring on the younger generations. According to Rowan 2013, four critical factors necessary to achieve healthy child development are movement, touch, human connection, and exposure to nature. The technology lessens the chance of every child to be active as they can, to be sharp in their way of thinking and their decision-making is disturbed. Clinton, C., & Steyer, J. (2012) states that “the Internet may actually be changing how our brains work”. There is a little thin line in identifying the real and fake world that is being fed on the mind of the younger generations (Rowan, 2013).
Through the media, the children can watch movies even at a given rate that is not suitable for their age. For the simple reason, they can find it and easily watch or by downloading the file they can easily access the said site. This must be under the guidance of the parents and adults to make sure that site on their browser is a children safety website. If not guarded the children may be able to open a site with pornography theme in it. In the virtual games that could be easily downloaded, they have the tendency to breathe, act and move depending on how they play a game, detachment from the real world will manifest into a behavioral disorder. The modernization concept of the century depicts the introduction of innovative ideas in technology and upgraded gadgets. It only shows that people can evolve with the present norms of society. There is no more observance of privacy. Through the different social media platform children tend to post everything about their lives thus exposing themselves to cyberbullying.
Since the children are exposed to these gadgets at early age adult supervision is strictly needed. Exposing into these gadgets at an early age can be causing some delays in the child development. An example of developmental delay is detected among children is speech delay and the deficiency of social skills. Because of the downloadable, games that can be easily played by the children, there is no verbal communication between both players. Too focused on the games itself and not minding of the people in the surrounding. Pisano (2016) mentioned that kids and pre-teens who relies on gadgets most of the time will have a hard time communicating with others which can lead to poor confidence and low self-esteem making them introvert. This can be evident in staying in the bedroom most of the times, moving away from other people. This only show that there are no more physical activities and human contact because of unlimited use of gadgets. Their life has turned into a digital media world. Stokes (2013) suggest that media content and information acquired from movies as seen by a child play an important role in shaping their perspective about life and society. The media is being used as a tool in defining life in every character that the children portray in themselves. Since the children tend to imitate the supervision of adult is very much needed to instill in the minds of the children about what role is being implied. Character role- playing is visible in movies, theatre plays and another medium of arts. It is easy for the children to imitate what they see in the media. Social impact of violence, explicit romance, adventurous can make their minds lead them to a bad influence. Stokes recommend the use of the Bechdel test to assess gender equality roles. This is applied to prove that the women are given a fair representation in the movie. Equality in gender roles is to be observed even in the media. Having a moral lesson at the end of the movie must be picked up by the children after watching a movie is expected. The innovation will shape up the future of the children, but the effects on them must be strictly guarded by parents. Instilling in their mind what is real and imaginative to avoid behavioral disorder, psychological and physiological problem.
Since technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects and action is taken toward balancing the use of modern technology with critical factors for development will work toward sustaining our children. While no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology in today’s world, connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what society should value for most children. In order to maximize the enormous advantages and minimize the risks for children, collaborative efforts between stakeholders are required to give a safe environment for learning and growth.