Our world is overrun by technology and is dominated by the media. While technology provides many advancements and conveniences to human race, it also presents some unfortunate consequences for our children.The media and technology of the present age has become ‘attention grabbers’ amongst children. The health and education system are just beginning to detect an increase of physical, psychological, behavioral disorders among children.
The entertainment technology such as T.V; cell phones ; video-games ; I pads changes family structure and life style which has significant impact on the young ones. Today’s young are entering the school struggling with self regulation, attention skills eventually becoming significant behavior management problems for teachers in classrooms.
Impact on Social Skills
Children, below two years can be seen watching a cartoon on a tablet or playing with a cell phone. Over use of these electronic devices may cause impairment in the Child’s Social skills. This includes the inability to make friends in person, take responsibility for action, displays good manners, use polite language, control emotions and temper follow verbal actions, directions and develop empathy for others.
This excessive usage of electronics may isolate the child and fail to develop normal communication skills such as listening, conversation and making eye contact. Due to these undeveloped social skills a child may tend to avoid social interaction, situations due to social anxiety.
This desire for material goods discourages children from reading and thus decreases the child’s ability to be patient and to be able to delay gratification. The quality of sharing and adjusting with one another seems to be in a decline state. Using technology can affect a child’s ability to empathize.
These material gadgets weakens the relationship between the children and their parents. Since parents have less time with their children, the young ones replace their parents with technology and find comfort in playing video games and watching television.
Impact on Mental Health (Cognitive Skills)
Having the negative impact on social skills , as discussed earlier, the chronic use of these technologies can also affect a child’s mental health.
Studies show that the young who regularly play video games exhibit more anxiety and depression. They also become impulsive, moody and have difficulty maintaining focus and are likely to express felling or unhappy at school. Researches affirm that produces effects that are similar to drug craving which may also lead to addiction.
The executive functioning of the brain can also be impacted that may cause atrophy, the shrinkage or lose of tissue volume. This controls the functions such as memory, self control speech and sensory perception such as seeing and hearing.
Studies show that more than a third of children under the age of five use mobile media. The time spent with this technology can change the way their brain works. The brain pays attention to multiple stimuli but this can lead a child to distraction and decreased memory.
This does not give enough opportunities to use their imagination or to read and think deeply about the given material. The thinking capacity of the child is reduced which leads to inability of answering questions, doing exercises in classroom.
Impact of Physical Development
Children are found to have physical effects due to excessive use of electronic devices. One study showed that children who spent more time playing video games and watching television had a higher risk for obesity, Sleeping problems and also stomach issues .Childhood obesity is on the rise and technology may be the blame. Pediatricians say severe obesity is increasing among young children. Although the traditional focus is on the type of foods, One cannot deny our usage of technology ,we exercise less.
With technology of televisions, Computers and mobile devices the amount of time we spend sedentary has increased and our time in physical activity dropped.
Due to the presence of Television and Computers some students shorten their sleeping hours which results in insomnia. This also causes the child to be restless and not attentive in classes.
The little one gets arrested to these electronic gadgets inside a room and have no interest to exercise play outside. They lose interest in toys, Lack of motivation and physical exercise.
Spending hours on electronic gadgets can drastically inhibit the physical development of the child. Greater emphasis should be practiced on the necessity for physical activity and regular exercises.
In conclusion if a child may already be addicted to electronic devices, its not to late to strat making positive changes in the child’s life. Make time to spend with each of your children. Limit the amount of time the child spends using electronic or social media. We must try to help build our child’s social skills and other interests.
Technology makes our lives easier. Today’s children have tremendous opportunities to learn and connect by using it, but with each advantage comes a potential cost. These cost should be analyzed understood and can minimize them, to keep the usage of technology positive.
Always be a good model; limit yourself (parents) when using electronics in front of children, thus enabling them to have a rich social, physical and mental growth.
About the Author:
Ms. M. Sasirekha: I am a KG Coordinator working since 2014 at Anna Adarsh Mat. Higher Secondary School. I have completed my Post Graduation in English Literature at S.I.E.T. College and was blessed to be appointed as a teacher in KinderGarten. The teaching experience in this esteemed organization headed by Principal Mrs.Jayalakshmi Ramachandran, has been a great learning experience. This made me realize that teaching is indeed a noble profession where we are able to mould and shape the young minds. As a teacher I am able to analyse the obstacles faced by the children and thus minister to their needs. I have great passion for English Literature and would like to explore into the word web to enrich myself. This is one profession which gives me complete satisfaction.