Why is technology harmful to young minds?

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Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・IT & Technology ・MLA ・5 Sources

According to a 2012 Ofcom survey, “approximately 37% of children aged 3 to 4 years go online to watch television, browse blogs, or play video games, and spend fifteen and a half hours per week watching TV.” ("1st Place: How Smartphones Affect Children's Brains"). During the pre-civilization era, young children would spend the entire day playing outdoors, building forts, riding bikes, and participating in sports. They were masters of their imaginations when they created their own mode of play that did not necessitate the use of costly instruments or adult oversight. Their sensory was straightforward and dependent on nature. Families spent their time together doing their chores and even eating at the dining room table with the children having certain obligations that they were expected to achieve such as after food or work, homework was necessary. Nonetheless, that history has now changed with the advancement of the new technology whereby the 21st-century children have forgotten about the old tradition and embraced the new approaches (Television, iPads, cell phones, internet, and video games). Apparently, the new technology has brought along useful gadgets, which provide more entertainment than the previous ones; hence, even when taught about the past games, they would find it boring. Nevertheless, despite the efficiency of the technology, it has some negative effects on the children. In this paper, the reasons as to why parents should regulate the technology usage in their children are discussed since it is bad for their young brains together with some refutations.

Technology can also put the safety and privacy of users at risk, so there is no reason the same thing will not happen to the lives of children. Young children who utilize technology sometimes usually withhold sharing information, which can place them in danger. For instance, in around 82 percent of online sex crimes committed against children, the perpetrators utilized social networking websites in retrieving information regarding their victim’s predilections. And with the anonymity associated with technology, the majority of people take advantage of the situation to bully others. It has also been reported that only a quarter of teens usually report their bullying incidents for assistance. Sexing effect is also another issue of concern among the teenagers whereby 24 percent of those aged between 14 and 17 have engaged themselves in the act. The process involves sending of nude images and sexual talks, which are detrimental to the children’s ethical and moral behavior as they grow up (DeLoatch).

Children who use technology with less physical activity develop obesity problems. And with the condition of the rise, the advancement is to blame. Even though the traditional focus has been on the type of food young people eat, studies have shown that obesity is on the rise not because of the food is eaten but by technology, which makes them exercise less. Technological devices such as televisions, vehicles, mobile devices, and computers offer them entertainment; hence, makes them lose interest and motivation in their outdoor hobbies and toys. They have managed to increase the time young ones spend sitting thereby their physical activity time decreasing (DeLoatch).

Besides not engaging in enough physical activity, the majority of the children lack enough time to spend outside due to the entertainment that technology offers them. Spending time outdoors has many benefits to their health such as exposure to sunlight that supplies the body with the necessary Vitamin D, which aids in fighting infections and keeping the skin healthy. Regular sunlight exposure also helps in keeping the kids sleep cycle normal since it influences the production of melatonin in the body. Recent studies have also proved that gargets screens such as computers release injurious blue light rays, which causes eye strain and headaches for young people (Patel). Moreover, sleep is also hindered by the blue lights that suppress the hormone melatonin, which is known for regulating the sleeping cycle thereby giving the child’s body a hard time when it comes to sleep (Patel).

Technology can lead to mental health problems in children by changing their brain and the way they think since it alters the wiring of their memory. More than a third of kids who are two years and below use mobile media; however, as their age increases the number also increases whereby it has been reported that 95 percent of teenagers around 12 to 17 spend their time online (DeLoatch). The actual time that children spend on the internet does not offer them new means of doing the thing, but it changes how they think. For instance, while video games may be able to condition the brain to adapt to respond to multiple stimuli, they can easily cause decreased memory. Young children who utilize search engines in the particular websites become good at finding information; nonetheless, they do not become good at remembering them. Technology may also limit children’s imagination, or reading and be thinking critically. Too much Television can also hinder a child’s language acquisition since TV watching is not a creative activity thus can easily lead to lack of imagination (Albarado).

Children who utilize technology too much can also develop psychological problems in their lives thereby having a poor association and relation skills. In the 21st Century, whereby social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, among others exist, most of the kids spend quality time with friends and unknown people online more than their real families. Family members are there to bring happiness to each other and support themselves thereby one growing up with the feeling of belonging. Nonetheless, with technology and the social media, children lose that ability of face to face to contact with people who care about them thus ending up experiencing depression, alienation, and loneliness that can later on lead to suicide attempts or suicides (Roman).

In spite of the criticisms regarding the negatives that technology has on the young brains, it also has some advantages. Even though it is known that babies under the age of two tend to grasp more by learning through engagement and interactive play with different materials, which offer their physical and social growth, interactive media such as applications and e-books can assist toddlers to improve their reading skills. They can also help them develop their vocabulary but only if the infants are closer to the age that they can start attending school ("How Smartphones and Tablets Affect Children's Brains | 1St Place").

Conclusion

Technology has made our lives easier in industries, home, schools, and everywhere. Today’s students enjoy immense chances that it offers to them; however, with every advantage, it brings lies a detrimental cost especially to the young brains. It leads to obesity in the children who spend most of their time playing games instead of engaging in physical activities outside by playing with their mates. Technology also puts the safety and privacy of the kids at risk whereby they meet with strangers online who expose them to harmful behaviors such as nude sexting at a tender age. The new change has also led to the poor health in children, for instance, playing outside provides them with sunlight that has vitamin D for a healthy body; however, with the rise of the video games, most of them lock themselves inside the rooms. Social media also hinders regular face to face interactions of the teenagers thereby leading to conditions such as depression, alienation, and anxieties. Despite the disadvantages discussed, interactive play can improve the reading skills of the toddlers before joining a school. Nonetheless, in spite of the cons that technology has on the young brains, the society cannot eliminate them, which will probably mean scrapping all the technological ideas and going back to pre-civilization. The steps that can be taken is to comprehend the costs involved and keep the use of technology positive. That can be done by parents or guardians becoming role models to the children. In this case, they need to spend ample period with their young ones daily without any gadgets and engage them in communication, which will help the children develop empathy after receiving undivided attention. The parents also should avoid having their family meals while watching TV and using mobile phones in front of the infants. They can also set limits to time that the toddlers spend online to make them not get used to too much of the technology.

Works Cited

Albarado, Adrianne. "SOUND OF MIND: Negative Effects of Technology In Children." San Angelo, 2017, http://www.gosanangelo.com/story/life/wellness/2017/04/19/sound-mind-negative-effects-technology-children/99872132/.

DeLoatch, Pamela. "The Four Negative Sides of Technology | Edudemic." Edudemic.Com, 2015, http://www.edudemic.com/the-4-negative-side-effects-of-technology/.

Roman, Stephanie. "Technology’s Harmful Effects on Children." Publicsource, 2015, http://publicsource.org/technology-harmful-effects-on-children/.

Patel, Dhruvin. "How Technology Impacts Children’S Development – Thrive Global." Thrive Global, 2017, https://journal.thriveglobal.com/will-technology-ruin-your-childrens-development-663351c76974.

"How Smartphones And Tablets Affect Children's Brains | 1St Place." 1St Place, 2017, http://www.1stplace.uk.com/how-smartphones-and-tablets-affect-childrens-brains/.

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