Kids and Technology – Is This Tandem Beneficial?
Today, technology has played a very big role in everyone’s life. With online banking, transactions have never been this easy and convenient. With eShopping, purchasing goods has never been this far-reaching.
All these technological advancements, however, have placed a strong hold to children too. Today, you could hardly see a kid without a PSP, a Nintendo DS or a video system at home. Talk about simple stuff, nearly every kid has a television or a computer in his room.
Truth be told, kids’ access to technology is both beneficial and dangerous. Let’s see why.
On a Positive Note
Today, more than ever, kids have unlimited access to the internet. They can play with their video gaming consoles everyday. And of course, they can watch television all day long. As a result, children are exposed to a lot of visual and auditory stimulation.
This is a good thing, because at age 0-6, a kid’s brain is still developing. So they need as much stimulation as possible to become smarter and better individuals.
By being exposed to the latest in technology, kids are taught – at an early age – about the vastness and the usefulness of the internet and other video games. Learning becomes multi-faceted as kids today no longer solely depend on one instructional medium: books.
On a Negative Light
Child psychologists and medical practitioners, however, are unanimous in identifying the negative effects of too much exposure to technology. They contend that too much visual and auditory stimulation produces “addiction-like” effects. Because kids are used to too much stimulation, they’d grow restless, anxious and even aggressive when they do not have this level of “input.” This explains why they get irritable when they are just told to stay put and not play with their PSP’s.
Second, too much exposure to technology could interfere with quality time with their families. Instead of spending their time playing or going to the park with their parents and siblings, kids would prefer to stay at home and be in the company of the computer or their home gaming sets.
Psychologists also believe that during their development years, kids should spend more time in active play, physical undertaking and even reading. With the presence of laptops and gaming consoles, however, these activities are set along the sidelines.
As a result, their social skills maybe affected. Because kids now find more meaning in playing alone, they would find it hard to appreciate the company of others. Everyone knows that social skills are very important for one’s success, as such, this has to be developed as early as 2 years of age.
The advent of technology brings with it a multitude of advantages. With technology, people are experiencing a better quality of life. But as with anything else, too much of something is bad. Therefore, it is your challenge to know when something is too much, or too little. It is up to you to balance the exposure of your child to visual and auditory stimulation. As a parent, it is your call to know when exposing your child to technology would do him more good than bad. That’s the only way for you – and your child – to take full advantage of what technology brings.