In the last few decades, technology has drastically changed how human beings live and interact with each other. Compared to how things were 20 years ago, today life seems so much more convenient. Everything you need, from a cab ride to an international vacation, is basically just a click away.
However, technology has also put a strain on your relationships. While it keeps you connected, technology also keeps you more distracted than ever. This is evident in how children are growing up today. With early access to technology and media, your child’s growth and development is being hampered significantly. Before you brush these claims away, take a look at all the ways in which technology might be affecting your children.
1. Delayed Development
When your child is playing and having fun, he is also developing physically and mentally. Movement increases attention and the ability to learn. Studies are finding that one in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement. Research has also found that the use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning.
2. Impairs Brain Growth
Your child’s brain is in a rapid stage of development up until the age of 21. In the early stages, the development of the brain is dependent on the external stimulus, which means your child is constantly learning from his experience of the outside world. Research has shown that when a developing brain is overexposed to technologies like the television, the internet, iPads, and cellphones, the child could develop cognitive delays, attention deficit disorder, increased impulsiveness, and impaired learning.
What you see also affects how you act. It’s as true for children as it is for adults. Viewing violent media content can cause aggression in children. Technology is making media highly accessible and a lot of news covered by the media contains physical and sexual violence. Ever computer and mobile games are filled with violent content. Recognizing the role of the violence showed in the media, the Unite States has categorized it as a public health risk.
4. Mental Illness
The overuse of technology has been found as a causal factor in rising rates of depression, anxiety, autism, attachment disorder, bipolar disorder, problematic child behavior, and psychosis. According to a research done on Canadian children, one in six children a diagnosed mental illness and many of them are on dangerous psychotropic medication.
5. Sleep Deprivation
With parents working and busy, it becomes difficult to assess how much technology your child is using. According to a study by the Kaiser Foundation, 60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms. As a result of unrestricted access to technology, 75% of children between the age of 9 and 10 years are deprived of sleep, which is affecting their grades at school.
6. Digital Dementia
Have you wondered why children today have problems concentrating and paying attention? You can blame technology and the rate at which your child is being bombarded by information. High-speed content means your brain in jumping from one topic to the next in seconds like you do when you scroll your social media page. Studies have shown that this leads to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex. The result is shorter attention span and attention deficit disorder in children.
Technology is not affecting just children. Parents too are spending a considerable amount of time consuming media on various screens. This means they’re spending less time with their children which makes them more detached. When the parents are absent and do not spend enough quality time with their children, the children latch on devices leading to technology addiction. Unfortunately, studies have shown that one in 11 children aged 8-18 years is addicted to technology.