Research into the connection between technology and children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development has increased significantly since the end of the last century. Television, computers, cell phones, and other wireless devices continue to be a major part of the lives of most children and adolescence.
Technology has many benefits. It helps to do things quicker, keeps children occupied, gives them opportunity to communicate with friends, and provides an endless resource for learning. However, it negatively influences children’s development.
The Effects of Technology in Child Development is a rather controversial issue. They did not have electronic devises and gadgets to keep them occupied. Technology has given a great number of new opportunities for children to study and entertain. Children nowadays tend to occupy themselves with digital toys and spend less time outdoors. Consequently, childhood obesity and addiction to gaming and the Internet became extremely widespread among children.
Children are those who are in active stages of development. Their attitudes, beliefs, and ideas about the world, as well as physical, cognitive, and social skills, are taking form. They are absorbing information from everywhere. The considerable number of hours that are spent viewing television or using other electronic devices means that the media constitute a large potential informational and attitudinal source. This is an important finding, because children, for example, very often use the media to receive information about sex, violence, drugs, and relationships. Modern technology gives children access to many things that they would not learn until they were older. Media violence can be categorized as a public health risk, as it can result in child aggression.
Developmental delay, obesity, attention deficit, movement deprivation, and learning disabilities are now wide spread phenomena. Scientists claim that the reason is excessive usage of technology. Developing children require 3-4 hours per day of active play to achieve adequate physical development. Children who spend more than 1-2 hours per day in front of TV sets or computers have a 60% increase in psychological disorders. Children do not move enough, do not work on their motor skills, and have movement deprivation.
Moreover, traditional outdoor games allow children to use their imaginations and socialize with each other. Digital games can not provide that. Video games may indeed improve visual motor coordination, but they do not improve intellectual development. Technology causes a decrease in children’s creativity, critical thinking, and analysis skills. Students nowadays have available access to the Internet. They can find any information they need, but at the same time, children do not process information well. It can also cause delays in language development among kids. Many children do not bother with reading, as they can simply watch the film on television and DVDs. This also causes problems in intellectual development among children.
Children and adolescence prefer to communicate via Internet rather than socializing in real life. Children can lose the art of good conversation, as they communicate mainly by text massages. Communication may also become a problem for some children if they prefer to talk with others online. Communication is an integral part of the development of child’s sense of security and safety.
Undoubtedly, technology has made life much easier. However, if something goes wrong, children do not know how to solve problems. Children and adolescence depend on electronic devices, and there can not be any improvement in problem solving. It is often difficult for children to appreciate what life would be like without the availability of certain gadgets. Children seem to be dependent on technology, as it is used not only at home but at schools as well. Teachers use computers and electronic whiteboards in order to meet the standards of the twenty-first century approach to lessons. That gives the impression that computers can solve any problem and can be used for everything.
Technology is partially responsible for occurrence of children’s laziness. Technology does not cause laziness directly, but it can give a tendency to it.
Despite the negative effects of technology on children’s development, there is positive influence as well. Technology helps children to discover plenty of things around them. Computers can be used to learn effectively, as they allow children to use a great variety of learning tools like dictionaries, tutorials, educational games, and visual applications. The Internet is an enormous source of the information, and it can be used by children in order to prepare for classes or discover something new. Children have an opportunity not only to entertain with help of different kinds of computer applications but also expand their critical thinking and creativity. Moreover, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and online tutorials expand the level of children self-study. Some scientists suppose that modern technology helps children to develop a critical thinking mind. Some kinds of video games can stimulate child’s mind. Very often children are encouraged to think critically and intellectually while playing computer games.
It should be mentioned that children’s development does not only include education. It requires entertainment as well, since it helps a child to feel complete. Technology provides a great number of of entertainment. Children can play computer games, listen to music, read books, and watch movies and cartoons. Having access to the Internet, it is easy to stay in touch with everyone. Televisions, cell phones, play stations, the Internet, mp3 players, and computer games provide necessary entertainment for children.
Thus, digital revolution and ensuring proliferation of DVD’s, realistic video games, cell phones, pagers, and other wireless devices have introduced a new level of flexibility and convenience. Rapidly advancing technology has contributed to an increase of physical and behavioral disorders. Technology is going to remain a part of humans’ life, and it is important to minimize its negative impact on children’s development. It is important to reach the right balance between using advantages of modern technologies and gaining experience from the outside world.