In today’s society, all you see is the use of technology. Technology has both positive and negative effects. You may see people using it for useful purposes while others use it just to kill time. The more that human beings use it, whether good or bad, leads to more future high-end products being promoted. The further it becomes positively boosted it becomes to have control over most of our lives. As life goes on each generation is being introduced to something new, as we all want the latest item, as an adult can afford it, once they purchase the new item, that phone, tablet, that is ‘old’ to them will be passed down to their children or maybe even so they might be spoiled and get the latest item just because.
The first con I would like to bring to attention would be excessive screen time. Parents never place limits, yell at the kids to get off the phone, or take away the device. For one, they can’t judge their own kids because they’re doing the same thing or two because they don’t want to hear their kids nag. Little do they know they are affecting their brain. As a child their vision is barely starting to develop, barely getting stronger, this leads to damage of eyesight which is due to too much screen time (Layer, 2017). This type of con can really affect you in the long run because children who use devices all day, start to squint their eyes, head starts hurting, etc. and eventually in the near future they would need to be prescribed glasses. Glasses aren’t enjoyable. “I’ve seen kids suffer from vision problems, wearing prescription eyeglasses as early 10 years old. This is not always because of a congenital issue. It is often caused by too much gadget usage” (Layer, 2017). Not only do parents have to take them to the doctor to get glasses but they have to pay for them, depending on how bad their eyesight has been affected. The more damage to the eyesight, the stronger the lens, the more money parents would have to pay.
The second con I would like to bring up would be how technology creates safety issues for children. As I hear many stories of how frequently inappropriate stuff comes up, you would be ashamed. “Ads, pop-ups, games, news, fun websites, social media, text messages, and more are constantly competing for our attention” (Brown, 2019). Even if you’re watching an ABC video, a random irreverent video will pop up on the side. Most children don’t know any better, they might click on the video or even if they click it by accident, they might be entertained by it and continue watching it. What really is the problem is how parents are not being parents, they’re not looking at their history, not seeing what they’re looking at, or maybe not even checking up on them, they just think well since they are calm, they are fine and entertained. Children may end up being involved in criminal acts (Layer, 2017). “For example, they can become addicted to online gambling, discover hacking, and download illegal materials or more” (Layer, 2017). You see there might even be kid friendly videos that may not be appropriate. What if the child is watching an episode with a friend and that friend goes home and tells mommy and daddy what he/she learned, that may cause issues between the parents as well as the children learning inappropriate content. “There is a possibility that they will be able to access unsuitable content such as violence, pornography, and other inappropriate contents. The problem becomes bigger when these are shared with fellow children too” (Layer, 2017).
The third con I would like to bring to attention would be it takes away human interaction. Many kids would rather choose their device than to play kickball, tag with friends. Time management is a huge struggle when it comes to kids using technology. Devices have become so reliant that kids don’t even want anything to do with outside activities, they have become addicted and distracted. “Teachers and parents worry that lack of face-to-face socializing will leave students unable to communicate effectively when they need to have a real-life conversation” (Brown, 2019). If parents were really concerned about their kids never putting down their phone they should place restrictions, “29% of parents allow their children to use the Internet without any supervision or restrictions” (Chief, 2018). A restriction on certain apps or even taking it away after dinner, finding a useful strategy that works for both of you guys. As a parent you should always remember that you’re in charge but never forget family interaction is important too, such as family games. However, relying on technology reduces the imagination of a child. There’s more to life than some device, children wouldn’t have a memorable childhood if they’re just stuck on the couch watching YouTube. “Using your imagination creates and helps develop a child” (Chief, 2018). Playing with dirt, getting dirty, playing with imaginary friends, learning things that don’t make sense but will eventually be used in the future is what we consider a great childhood. “It encourages them to test the limits of their knowledge and abilities. They find confidence in themselves to solve problems, become resilient to challenges, and develop practical strategies to cope with frustration, anger, and fear” (Chief, 2018).
The fifth con would be it promotes a sedentary lifestyle. As many are familiar with this one, when your binge watching an episode or movie you want snacks. Well with so much free time on devices that increases the appetite or wanting more and more food. Less movement, spending more time inside in front of a screen, increases the risk of weight gain. (Layer, 2017).
Although there are some pros to children using devices. The first one I would like to mention would be that devices are useful for tracking and checking. The location of your child is very important, especially when it comes to your child not answering a text, the location of your child is always available no matter if they’re in your presence or not. This is very useful when kids go out with friends or if an emergency happens. “Advantageous for parents to have kids carry smartphones as it becomes easier to track the whereabouts of their children” (Layer, 2017). Parents can easily text or call them when you need to get ahold of them. Having a device comes in good hands. Especially if they’re not communicating with you throughout the day.
The second pro I would like to talk about would be how technology prepares children for the future. There are many apps that are created to help children learn their numbers, ABC’s, colors, math problems, even reading comprehension, etc. “Technology will continue evolving. It isn’t going away. Exposing children to tech concepts early on prepares them for a future where they can remain productive. Programs like ABC Mouse allow children to be ready for school while promoting cognitive development” (Chief, 2018). Apps like this always are a great way to start and prepare a kid for school or even to maintain the knowledge they already have. “Apps like Duolingo allow children to begin learning a foreign language. DragonBox teaches the fundamentals of mathematics. Science360 offers videos, photographs, and news stories to explore advanced scientific concepts” (Brown, 2019). Even the Internet or YouTube can help a child if a problem isn’t understood. For example, Khan Academy provides tutorials and helpful videos that are used it a student doesn’t understand and needs help (Brown, 2019). There’s also an app where you can keep track of your grades and this is the best and fastest way to check and see if there’s any missing assignment. Keeping your grades up should be a priority when it comes to having free time on a device. If a child is not academically passing, why should they be allowed on an entertaining device.
The third pro would be how technology helps children learn other skills or develop natural talents. Many children learn what they like, or their clothing style taste, music, etc. on the Internet. Many learn new things they never learned about which may lead to new discoveries of within that subject, that they might have an interest in learning more about. Many children may imitate what the characters do in the video. As I see my sisters and her friends singing and moving their body the same way as their influencers, shows, and my sister always tells me I want to be an actress just like her.
The fourth pro would be how language skills improves when using technology. Giving children access to tech improves their learning capacity. “Games require them to follow specific instructions for success. Children can read e-books as a way to improve their vocabulary or stories which are entertaining. Online flashcards promote phonics and mathematical concepts”.
There are a variety of resources that devices can come in handy for but there’s also things that are irrelevant. Children using devices is good until a certain extent. Children at such a young age know how to control the screen. Today kids seem to have an intuitive understanding of how tablets and mobile devices work (Brown, 2018). It’s crazy because they know what they’re doing at such a young age.
In conclusion, there are many positive and negative outcomes of children using devices. In reality it’s really up to the parents, and how they are going to influence their child when it comes to these situations. My personal opinion on this matter is that I know from experience. It never really affected my childhood but as a teen it got to me. I used to spend hours and hours on a device and when I finally close my eyes, they’d feel tired and heavy. I never listened and look at me now, wearing glasses and blinder than ever. Till this day I catch myself going in and out of social media but as a matter of fact I have an hour limit on each app I spend most of my time on. However, I see it with my own eyes. My siblings right away come home from school and hop on a device. Technology is getting to the best of us.