The Positive and negative effects of technology on child development are well defined and uncovered. In the modern world, everyone and everything is fastened to technology without any exception, not even children.
Children from the infancy observe the fast stream of digital technology usage. They get familiar with the use of digital devices like phones and tablets before they can speak.
In the busy world parents also want their kids to get engaged with a phone or other digital device so they can work uninterrupted so due to this reason today’s children are the most zealous users of digital devices.
Children are introduced by parents to devices for learning ABC and poems etc, of course, parents want their children to have digital literacy so they can keep up with the modern digital world.
From toddlers to teenagers technology is becoming most of their daily routine. Mobiles, tablets, televisions, digital toys and all kinds of entertainment related to digital technology attract children and as time passes by, children demand more of it.
A report from Common Sense Media declares that in 2017, 42% of young children had their very own tablet—up from 7% in 2013 and less than 1% in 2011. The report shows a hike in percentage in just six years.
In this article article, we will be having a detailed discussion of the positive and negative effects of technology on child development.
Positive Effects of Technology on Child Development:
Children are adopting the internet and digital technology in very early stages of life for studies or recreational purposes. It helps to give the children know-how of the modern world, grooming, and development.
All the digital technologies that aid children to learn and develop different mental and cognitive skills can be coined to the positive effects of technology on child development.
Kids may use these technologies by themselves or it can be used by parents to make the children learn and develop.
Let’s have a comprehensive look at each of the positive impacts of technology on child development:
Technology increased the intelligence level in children:
The 21st century witnessed technological marvels because those technologies brought some direct and indirect dramatic changes and accomplished the purposes for which they were invented.
Indirectly they have some other benefits too i.e high level of intelligence in the new generation.
Do you ever think about how children today are more intelligent? Ever thought about how they can understand the technical use of mobile phones before speaking properly?
I personally when seeing a toddler playing with a phone deep down it makes me think that in our time children used to eat mud at that age.
This high-level intelligence is because of the effects of technology on early childhood development.
Children right from infancy first hear the voice of TVs, Phones, and computers and right from opening eyes they watch TV, cartoons, mobile phones in the lap of the mother.
This continuous bombardment of the vast digital world in different shapes like cartoons, movies, videos has increased the intelligence of the children to a newer level.
They get used to technology from earlier stages of life. Using these complex and technical devices stimulate their brain and raise their I.Q level.
Technology promotes creativity in children:
Innovation and creativity are the precious skills to live a good life because of the continuously modifying world. Technology provides ideas and platforms where children can visualize their ideas more creatively through technology.
They get to interact with different ideas through different apps on mobile devices which provide an unlimited source of information.
They process all that information according to their mental ability and own ideas. Technology provided tools that help children to apply their ideas and create their virtual model pieces.
The common use of technology in every home includes games, videos, audios, etc.
Games as creativity generators:
Games provide an innovative and creative platform. The ideas and stories in games promote creativity and imaginative skills in children. The characters in the games and stories help children to learn.
Moreover, educational games help to learn math problems, poems, and story writing games are a big help for parents to initiate learning ability in children.
According to research at Michigan State University playing video games increases creativity in children.
- Games can improve the learning skills of children. It exercises the brains of children and they become more creative.
- Games are the priority of children on devices. They enjoy playing while at the same time they are developing skills of creativity and increasing brainpower of understanding things.
Audio and Video as a source of wisdom:
We are surrounded by digital screens of various sizes and shapes such as phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs.
Children have more desire to watch tv and videos on mobiles, laptops, etc than adults because children are more curious about the external world.
Audio and videos provide them a source and information about what is happening around and what kind of things are in the world. They can learn a lot through video and audio.
- Preschoolers usually learn all the poems and stories through audios and videos on phones.
- Children watch cartoons and learn different aspects of the world through them.
- Audio and videos initiate creativity and imagination in children and video tutorials in schools help kids understand and learn more easily.
Technology is promoting and enhancing education:
Technology is a big source or you can call it the biggest and largest library source of information and educational content. By seeing the above sentence apparently, you know well I am citing the internet.
Just imagine if one kid is reading about something and the other kid can see what he just read about in the book. Who will get to understand thoroughly? The answer is the one who can see what he read.
Children can learn and read about everything on the internet that they can imagine. They can learn the names of cities, countries, animals.
Moreover, they can read additional information apart from books and can watch videos on Youtube about academic topics.
A lot of educational apps are developed which are having topics and books that can be installed on mobiles and tabs.
The concept of e-learning through technology made education and learning more interesting and easy. Children can know different aspects of the topic they read in school in a fun and easy way.
If you want to read more about e-learning, click here.
Technology providing safety to children:
Technology can prove to be the savior in emergency scenarios for children and parents as well. Quick communication technology provides real-time contact with children.
If your kid is in any kind of trouble or if he/she fell sick in school you can be contacted easily by mobile phone.
Children can learn different emergency contact numbers they can call if encountered with any kind of problem. Like they can call ambulances or police in different emergency cases.
It is the scariest event for parents if their child is lost when they are busy shopping but thanks to technology.
Keeping in view child safety tech companies have developed smartwatches and wrist bends for kids through which you can know the location by GPS and where he is going.
CCTV cameras installed at home is another useful tool you can watch your kids in-room or home while you are in office without being present physically.
Technology empowers Youth:
Youngsters are leaders of the future. There are always certain kids in every society that are exceptionally creative and intelligent than other kids and even adults.
Technology is their empowering tool for applying their smart and creative ideas in the real world by making it a creative source of earning for them.
Below are the examples of young kids who used technology to get empowered and recognized.
- Arfa Kareem from Pakistan is known for the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional. Pakistani kid who became Microsoft Certified Professional at just the age of 9.
- Justin Bieber used a Youtube channel for singing and got famous for his singing. Now he has become a recognized, international singer
- Ashley Qualls bought a domain at $8 when she was 14 years old and started a website whateverlife.com which later grew and made her millionaire
- Robert Nay was a smart kid capable of coding at the age of 14. He developed a Puzzle Ball game which made him a millionaire in a few weeks.
These were just a few famous examples, some so many youngsters are empowered and self-employed and currently working alongside their academic responsibilities.
If you want to know more about the emerging importance and benefits of youth empowerment, click here.
Negative Effects of Technology on Child Development:
There is nothing that exists in the world with only benefits. A tiny thing having numerous benefits could also have a problematic aspect. Technology has vast benefits for children but there are also negative effects of technology on child development. It can also be a problem for parents regarding different aspects of child development.
Let’s have a comprehensive look at each of the negative impacts of technology on child development:
Technology is making children addictive:
We were lucky we grew up playing in backyards and outdoors. In our time there was no access to digital devices so we did not suffer from any sort of miseries. But today the scenario is completely changed.
Children are a step away from access to digital devices. Many children have their own digital devices at the age of fewer than 10 years.
Parents are usually not aware of the negative effects of technology on early childhood development and they do not take an interest in knowing what kind of usage their children make with the latest technological devices.
With so much digitization around different problems are exhibiting in the society regarding children. Digital addiction is one of them which is under discussion among deep thinkers.
Mobile phones and tablets have become a wonderland for children. They can watch cartoons and play many many games there is no limit at all.
Playing games releases dopamine which excites children and makes them addictive and they crave more.
They don’t want to stop playing or want to play multiple times a day. This digital addiction can create health issues for children physically as well as mentally.
Technology is making children socially disconnected:
Children who play games on phones and computers usually are socially cut off from society. They have no social interaction and thus excessive usage of technology makes them isolated which can create different problems.
Such children can not engage in social activity or even not feel comfortable in a group of friends which creates barriers in child development and grooming.
Below are the effects of technology on children’s development related to social disconnection:
- They usually feel insecure in the real-world and lack to develop social skills that are necessary for a successful future.
- They get very less interaction with friends, family, siblings and even parents.
- They lack focus on other activities of schools and studies
- Such children do not take interest in activities and gatherings
- They easily get distracted and hence do not learn important things that are necessary and important
- Poor school performance and exams result
Technology having unsuitable content for children:
The main concern of parents about digital technology is unsuitable content for children because they have easy access to inappropriate information.
Digital devices and the internet is like an open world.
Children can get exposed to content that is not suitable for them. Such unsuitable content can harm the mental health of a child.
The Internet usually has ads and other pop-ups that may contain certain content like photos and scenes not suitable for your child and he can get confused frightened and feel insecure by viewing such content.
Examples of such content of which the internet is stocked are
- Crime scenes or criminal acts caught on videos
- Scary videos
- Adult content
- Abusive language
- Photos of cartoon and games not for children
If children encounter such scenes on the internet they are frightened when they get alone and can have nightmares. Such things can permanently damage a child’s mind.
Technology is causing health problems in children:
The youngsters spend hours daily watching movies, cartoons and playing games which leads to the following physical and health problems
- Due to over usage of digital devices children are having problems regarding sleep patterns and unable to sleep well. The blue light emits from the screens that cause this sleeplessness.
- Due to hours of eye contact with digital screens and lights emit from them children suffering from weak eye vision.
- Children and youngsters can not maintain good physical posture because of using digital technology too often
- Head, arm, and shoulder ache due to using devices in the wrong positions
- Weight gain and obesity resulting from no physical activities due to devices
From the facts and information mentioned above, it is clear that there are both positive and negative effects of technology on child development. Technology has a vast pool of benefits for children.
Without technology, a child can never have many opportunities in various aspects of developmental stages he/she is undergoing so the positive effects of technology can never be ignored.
But at the same time, it is also necessary to understand the risks and harms of developing technologies and keep a sharp eye on their children to prevent them from the negative effects of technology on their development stage.
I will be writing more about the usage of technology in my upcoming articles.
Keep up reading and learning with Tech Baji.