Technology and Kids

Technology and Kids

Today technology has become a permanent part of our lives. But there is great concern about how it may be affecting the kids.  It is required to  learn to embrace its advantages, reduce its adverse effects and raise children who can still relate heart-to-heart with people, appreciate and participate in the beauty and wonders of nature and grow up to be well-rounded, healthy, caring and compassionate adults. The challenge for parents is to understand the benefits and pitfalls of children’s technology use and to help their children create balance in their lives

It is observed that now a day’s children spend most of their time in using media technology, including computers, cell phones, video games and MP3 players among others, is setting off alarms. The fear is not only that this technology is replacing physical and imaginative play, but that it also may be diminishing development of social skills, heart connection and empathy for others. Due to this reason kids are facing difficulty in identifying emotions in people, thus creating an inability to feel empathy toward others who may be feeling pain, sorrow, anger and other emotions. There is concern that excessive viewing of real or contrived violence online and/or playing video games that are violent or contain other age-inappropriate content could be numbing the sensitivities of young people, immunizing them from experiencing compassion and caring for others.

Thus it is necessity to encourage parents and adults to closely monitor children’s media technology habits and the time they spend with media, beginning at an early age and continuing through adolescence and the teen years. It’s important to help children to create a balance between their relationship with technology and activities that nurture their social, emotional and physical skills.

Advantages of Technology for Kids:

Technology can also play a role in helping children develop socially and emotionally, when used in balance. Media has helped children care about what is happening on the other side of the world, giving them access to people of different cultures and lifestyles in a click.

Technology is creating common platforms of socialization, exchange of information leading to more understanding and connectedness to the greater whole. Online polls allow teens to participate in social issues. Through blogging, many youths feel they have a voice on different social issues, allowing expression of their perspectives and learning about other people’s perspectives as well. Many are getting involved in online social causes and movements happening worldwide, from saving endangered species to raising money for the homeless.
Video games also offer ways for kids to collaborate, take turns and learn basic principles of teamwork and sharing, while increasing logical thinking, grasping the interrelationship of various inputs and developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination due to movements needed to effectively navigate a mouse or play a video game. New software being designed specifically for classrooms promises to be a remarkable tool for developmental learning and creativity.

Text messaging can also be a developmental tool. Use of “textisms” could be having a positive impact on reading development and a positive effect on the way children interact with language, rather than harming literacy.

How to reduce negative effects of Technology on Kids:

Online Safety Precautions:

Since kids of all ages go online (whether on the computer, through their gaming systems or even your smartphone), education about online safety is as important as safety in the community. Even very young kids need safety rules, such as what sites and apps are okay for them to use.  Establish very clear expectations about the use of technology, backed by consistent consequences.  Some rules to consider implementing with your kids:

  • Do not talk online to someone they don’t know. Discuss with your kids what it means to “know” someone; give clear examples about who they can and can’t interact with online.
  • Ignore “friend” requests from people they don’t know well.  Be specific.  Is someone who follows a friend-of-a-friend considered by you to be a person they “know well?”
  • Do not share personal details, like where they live, go to school or play sports. Remember, online accounts are vulnerable to hacking—a complete stranger can literally hijack an account and chat, pretending to be your child’s friend. Even small bits of information shared in a public profile or postings can be put together to locate your child.  Pictures and information you share can also be used to gain access to your child.

Other pro-active steps parents can take include:

  • Educate yourself about the types of social media and other technology your kids are using.  Learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
  • Understand how privacy settings work—and check to make sure your child is using the strictest settings.
  • Join the social networks your child is using and “follow” or “friend” them so you can monitor their activity.
  • Limit internet access during late-night hours—or make it unavailable altogether. This may decrease the possibility of encountering someone who is up to no good.


The Author of this article is an Assistant Professor, Pioneer Institute of Professional Studies

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