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31 March 2019
Adjusting Process: What are the effects of modern technology on children?
Among the principal driving forces in our contemporary lives, technology takes up a central role in shaping and transforming us to an unprecedented extent. In the world around us, technology surrounds everyone or everything, while it keeps on evolving and developing. Like others, children too are enamored with it. Some of the ways technology affects children will be further explored in the paper.
The impact of technology on children’s lives has arguably been positive; however, it has also brought significant concerns. A key concern with regards to digital technology is that it has deteriorated children’s ability to process information at a deeper level. This is a result of a proliferation of information sharing platforms that expose children to terabytes of information each day. The vast amount of information at their disposal is known to reduce their tendency to process or comprehend it a deeper level, while the effect is further compounded by the presence of digital media, television, computers and video games. These forms of media play on their genetic biases and present to them visually appealing information that captivates their minds to the extent that they lose interest in other useful activities.
A number of studies in this regard have jointly arrived at the conclusion that an increased exposure to video games and media which depicts action and violence increases the likelihood of children engaging in aggressive behavior. As a consequence, they are desensitized to violence and create a false impression of the nature of the world within their minds. Furthermore, an addiction to television and screens correlate with reduced physical activities and unhealthy lifestyles that affect their well-being CITATION Hut13 \l 1033 (Hutchby and Moran-Ellis). Although, a number of educational video games along with games that involve physical movements exist; however, children remain drawn to inappropriate and violent programs, shows and games to a considerably large extent. Furthermore, as communications' technology advances, real-world socialization has been replaced with chatting and texting on digital devices that brings with it a range of psychosocial issues that adversely impact their lives. While, a number of beneficial technologies are helping students engage with educational material at home and school; however, the content they are mostly exposed to as a result of these devices and platforms is one that plays on their tendency to seek excitement. It thereby leads to frequent releases of the chemical dopamine inside their brains that leads them to crave and become an addict to faster and more exciting action CITATION Hut13 \l 1033 (Hutchby and Moran-Ellis). As a consequence, they frequently feel ‘bored’ from routine activities and often demonstrate an inability to focus attention on something for too long.
Similarly, technology can affect cognitive development in children. The internet has allowed children access to a plethora of information through their gadgets and devices at a very young age. Consequently, it has started to impact their thinking abilities, for instance, their ability to memorize or retain information CITATION Sch08 \l 1033 (Schmidt and Vandewater). Other researchers have found that frequently interacting with objects on a screen engages a child's ears, fingertips and eyes to respond to screen prompts; however, during this engagement the remaining portion of the child's brain, emotions and body remain passive, even as the connections between fingertips and eyes strengthen from the interaction CITATION Hut13 \l 1033 (Hutchby and Moran-Ellis).
To conclude, it is not difficult to see that the significance of technology will continue to grow even further in our lives. Yet, parents can still have considerable control over which technology to expose their children to, and at which phases of their lives. With the much-acknowledged benefits that technology provides, there are sufficient grounds to argue that certain forms of parental monitoring and regulation are necessary to minimize its adverse effects on children.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Hutchby, Ian and Jo Moran-Ellis. Children, Technology and Culture: The Impacts of Technologies in Children's. 2nd. New York, NY: Routledge, 2013.
Schmidt, Marie Evans and Elizabeth A. Vandewater. "Media and Attention, Cognition, and School Achievement." The Future of Children 18.1 (2008): 63-85.
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