Nowadays our daily life is greatly influenced by technique. Technology has become an inalienable part of people’s daily lives. Every day we have to deal with computers, multimedia and different electronic devices. We get our news via a number of websites and digital newspapers. We e-mail, go shopping, enter a library, buy airline tickets, book a room at the hotel, travel around the world and do even more things without leaving our homes with a help of the Internet.
And it is not a surprise that because of our being so absorbed in technology, today’s children also have become greedy users. Kristina E. in her article Determining the Effects of Technology on Children (2011) states:
Laptops are being developed for children as young as five. Smart phones are now in the hands of children as young as ten. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in their 2010 survey on Media use in 8-18 year olds that this group spends an average of ten hours and forty-five minutes per day exposed to media. Even after multitasking is taken into consideration, the total still stands high at seven hours and thirty-eight minutes, more than an hour above the 2004 total (p.3).
So, taking into account that fact that day by day children become more submersed in media, many adults bring up a question whether such immense amount of online media provides positive or negative impact on them.
Some people note that new technologies are the medium of our lives, so children also should use them to be successful in the environment, which is closely connected with technology. Others stress that so much usage of medium technologies has a harmful impact on children, on their social life as well as on their health. Children can become socially undersized, thankless, even evil in some extent.
So, which answer is correct? Before determining this, it will be appropriate to look through positive and negative effects of technology on the development of children and their lives.
There are some arguments that state some positive influence of technologies on children. David J. Atkin in his book Communication Technology And Social Change: Theory And Implications (2007) counts some positive effect of technology in the educational sphere. For example, computers can have some positive effect in classrooms as well as at homes but when they are used considerately, like a positive learning tool (p.71).
Besides, there is some good thing that children begin to use computers at an early age, as they can use them ingeniously, having much time and desire for exploration. Children can view animation of the solar system, look at three-dimensional models of the human body, and learn through interactive games. Besides, children work with technology naturally, without comparing it to something else. It also does not prevent them from playing with dolls and cars, so it means it provides no harm. Speaking about elder children, new technology is a perfect way for them to learn, to search information and to communicate. Taking into account the key advantages of the education with a help of the Internet, such as faster and easier search of the required information, better presentation of information, more individualized studying process, it is really a good chance for children to have higher grades.
New technology also has a positive effect on a curtain group of children. For example, mobile tech helps students with learning disabilities. Nonverbal children as well as those who have some problems with speech or reading, benefit from educational apps, the purpose of which is making communication much easier. Computers help greatly children with autism, dyslexia and ADHD.
Nowadays, when our life is star-ordered and eventful, parents have been looking for more efficient and reliable ways of keeping a sharp eye on their children. Cell phones and smart phones are perfect tools for this purpose.
Despite all positive effects of technology on children, there are a lot of negative ones.
It is well known that modern technology in the best entertainment media. Children are supplied with a variety of entertainments such as TV, video games, electronic entertainment, mobile phones and more. Today is it just impossible for children or teenagers to imagine their lives without computers and cellphones. All these entertainments make children’s life more interesting and amazing, but they also lead to some bad effects. David J. Atkin asserts in his book Communication Technology And Social Change: Theory And Implications (2007), that one way that technology have affected children is that they have an impact on children’s free time. He mentions that children spend more time with media now and less time with their families (p.71). Moreover, using technology, children often face some health related problems, such as obesity, which can cause other great health concerns like asthma, diabetes, , sleep apnea, social discrimination, blood pressure and more.
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Another problem is that constant sitting in front of the television or uncontrolled playing video games damages children’s ability to concentrate on their studying, which leads to worse grade marks in comparison with the grade marks of active children, who are involved in different extracurricular activities.
Angela Young in her article “Internet and its effects on education” (2007), also presents some negative effects of using the internet for educational. She stresses that children too depend upon the Internet in their learning and searching for some information, which makes them lazy to use books for these purposes. She states, “Lazy brains are not good brains, and I am alarmed at the growing trends of Internet abuse in our schools” (Young).
One more concern all should pay attention to is a harmful influence of computer games on children, which then results in their behavior. According to the article of American Academy of Pediatrics “Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children” (2000), there are some harmful effects of children’s exposure to violent entertainment. Children who watch much violence can use it in real life. “Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed” (AAP ). However, David J. Atkin in his book “Communication Technology And Social Change: Theory And Implications” (2007), affirms that “although the negative effect of violent computer games on children is well documented, other games can positively affect visuospatial skills” (p.71). He also notes that all the impact depends on the quality of video games.
So, after discussing both the pros and cons of technology in the lives of children, one should admit that it provides great advantage, though also offer a great risk. However it is hard to tell exactly how technology really effect our children, as this generation is the first who has ability to use computers, multimedia and other electronic devices. So we cannot see full effects of it, because these children are not adults yet. Our opinions are mostly based on researches and studies, which may not be final yet. Therefore, the only one thing should be done: parental controls and moderateness, in order to let children benefit from the use of technologies, and prevent them from running the risks.