Modern Technology on Children Development
It is indisputable that the world today is at advanced stages of technology. Everybody is exposed to modern technology gadgets such as TVs, cell phones, laptops, desktop computers and video games daily. These gadgets are everywhere, which means that children also interact with them daily as they develop (David 8). This puts one on dilemma how these abundance of technology influences the development of children.
The influence of modern technology on children development is an issue, which experts have argued about severally. Opponents of modern technology argue that technology influences the child's growth negatively by retarding brain development, affecting social relationships and causing health complications while the proponents argue that modern technology enhances the child's mental and intellectual development (David 16). To some extent, both of them are correct because modern technology affects children development both positively and negatively.
A comparison between the children in modern technology environment and the ones in the previous generation environment without modern technology reveals that truly, technology has done something unique to today's children. The way today's children are exposed to the outside world through social media, internet, Televisions, cell phones and computers depict that technology has negatively influenced on children development (Kirsh 145). This depiction notwithstanding, technology has positive influences on the child development.
Positive influences of technology on children
Video games, cell phones and computer software's, cause a lasting positive impact to the critical thinking of the exposed child. Computer software helps the kids to learn effectively by providing them with learning tools such as, dictionaries, educational games and visual aids in form of applications. Children get fun with these applications, as well as, expand their critical thinking and creativity (Buckingham 105).
Microsoft applications such as MS-word, MS-excel MS-access and other user interface applications supports students daily learning in school and at home. In addition, search engines, encyclopedias, online dictionaries and online tutorials expand the level of children self-study.Child development does not only revolve around education, but rather, requires entertainment to make the child feel complete. Televisions, cell phones which are Wi-Fi enabled, internet, social media sites such as YouTube, mp3 players, and computer games provide crucial entertainment for the kids. Under moderation, these modern technologies break the boredom of reading, and boosts child recreation (Kirsh 45).
David (6) argues that, the child who is exposed to modern technology develops a critical thinking mind than the one who is not. This happen because, the computerized video games stimulate the child's mind, encouraging him/her to think critically and intellectually. This eventually leads to innovations and mind stretching at adulthood.
From the foregoing, it is evident that modern technology is important to the child's development. When it is moderated, it gives kids ample environment to enjoy both education and social life as they develop and grow.
Negative influences of technology on the child development
As earlier noted, the influences of modern technology on the child development are two way. Livingstone et al. (67) denotes that, the internet, video games, cell phones, televisions and social sites such as facebook and twitter encourages online dating, pornography and cyber bullying that destroy the life of a child. Moreover, they cause lack of interest in sleep which is a very serious health issue in child development.
Laziness is high in Modern technology kids as compared to the previous generation kids when technology was not as advanced as today. Nowadays, children stay indoors to play video games, browse through their iPods and watch movies instead of playing outdoor games and do exercises that the previous generation kids enjoyed. This negatively impacts on learning habits, physical and mental development of the child (Livingstone et al. 67).
Lack of exercises and poor diet due to indoor gamming and 24/7 television watching has caused serious health concerns among children in the society. Obesity and its associated health disorders like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders are high among modern technology children as compared to children of the previous generation (Holland & Hogg 56).
In addition to health issues, modern technology contributes to decadence of child morals. The internet exposes the child to all sorts of bad stuff found on social networks and pornography websites. This makes the child to disrespect the other gender as well as see sex as game of pleasure other than its intended purpose. Moreover, social networks connect children to some friends with weird intentions that lead to moral decay. For example, strange social network friends introduce the child to early dating or make the child to develop low self esteem due to cyber bullying (Kirsh 90).
Last but not least, modern technology weakens the child's social relationships. Children in the previous generation shared language, norms and values orally with their parents while sitting around bonfires in the case of African settings. This cultural tradition is fast disappearing leading to development of children with limited cultural aspects hence poor social relationships.
It is factual that Modern technology is widespread, and developing children cannot be hidden from it. Ideally, modern technology itself is not bad. This is because nowadays it is impossible to live and carry out daily activities without interacting with technology since we need it for progress. Even our children need technology to progress in their learning, entertainment and social relationships. The setbacks emanate when the children becomes dependent on technology so much until they cannot do anything without it (Kirsh 3). Therefore, to help strike balance between positive and negative influences, moderation and parental guidance is needed at every point that exposes a child to technology.
David, Buckingham. Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and the New Media. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Karen, Holland and Christine, Hogg. Cultural awareness in nursing and health care: An introductory text (2nd Ed.). London, UK: Hodder Arnold, 2010. Print.
Kirsh, Steven. Media and Youth a Development Perspective. Chichester: Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Sonia, Livingstone, Haddon, Leslie. Gorzig, Anke. And Olafsson, Kjartan. Risks and safety on the internet: the UK report. LSE, London: EU Kids Online. 2011.