The use of modern technology has drastically changed the world in recent times. Technology includes the use tools, techniques and power sources that are applied to make life easier, fascinating or more productive. The best way to focus on the effects of technology is through comparison with the past as people strive to create a world with superior standards. Today both children and adolescents are growing up open to technology. Although it is known that an increase in the use of technologies such as television has had a negative attitude on child health and development, studies show that modern technologies such as smartphones and computerized machines are developed with the aim of increasing benefits to this generation. As much as improved technology has brought positive effects, it is impossible to omit the fact that there are adverse negative effects of it in children.
According to Borca et al. (2018), the introduction of technologies such as computers and smartphones to children at a very tender age can negatively affect their personal lives and their relationships with friends and family since they will occupy a significant part of the children's lives. About 50% of children in America have access to computers and in most cases, encouraged by their parents to use them (Lauricella Wartella & Rideout 2015). Children who grow up adopting the use of technology have a terrible social relationship. Addiction to the use of these gadgets is the primary cause of these broken relationships. Children grow up spending less time with their parents or friends because they feel more connected with the virtual world than the real world.
Technology is the cause of many health issues among children. Excessive use of digital technology has been associated with health issues such as lack of attention, sleep problems, physical inactivity, issues with eyesight and obesity. Concerns should be placed on the effects of technology on emotional and cognitive activities among children. Playing with toys should be encouraged in place of watching the screen in to minimize the time of exposure to screen. Less screen exposure time reduces the risk of developing bad eyesight and the potential of developing musculoskeletal disorders (Howie, Coenen, Campbell, Ranelli & Straker, 2017). Excessive use of social media during the early school ages is associated with a low but substantial increase in BMI that exposes the children to obesity in later childhood. Extreme use of mobile phone and television viewing also increases the risk of sleep disturbances among children. Additionally, the use of electronic technology during the daytime affects the quality of sleep. The more the children are exposed to technology, the higher they are at risk of developing health problems as they grow.Additionally, excessive use of technology slows down the development of the brain. Mental development is most affected by lack of exercise. Extreme use of these technological devices has led to children becoming dyslexic, which in turn causes them to become slow in grasping things (Howie et al. 2017). Thus, technology can lead to a drop in performance due to slow learning. Outdoor activities are much crucial in the early stages of brain development among children. Besides, new technological devices such as phones and computers emit radiations that can cause an increased risk of cancer (Lauricella Wartella & Rideout 2015). A child in the modern would prefer to solve a simple math problem using a calculator instead of working it out manually. This is one cause of too much reliance on technological devices such as calculator or phones. Also, education is much affected as children depend on spell checkers on the computer rather than looking up the word from the dictionary by themselves. Slower brain development caused by high technology hinders the educational development of a child. Apart from the harmful effects on health, modern technologies also pose safety risks on children. There exist chart sites where predators try to entice children and take advantage of them (Collins 2017). Children also tend to show traits of high aggression when they view violence of social media sites or on television. Character is moulded at childhood; thus, children can easily pick up bad habits such as stealing and abuse on TV.
In conclusion, it is clear that the rise in digital technologies is significantly variable, and the effects depend on the type of device, the way of use and the amount of time spent on them. Children in the modern world are much exposed to high personalized technologies; thus, parents should, at all times, strive to ensure that the technologies are used beneficially. It is essential that a balance is implemented between the use of technology and a healthy lifestyle such as adequate sleep, positive social interaction and increased physical activity. Connecting technology and education could make learning enjoyable; however, this same technology adversely affects the learning capabilities if used excessively among children. Apart from safety and health risks, modern technologies expose children to the risk of developing poor cognitive and psychological skills needed in life. Although technology may provide entertainment and help in learning, it is vital to note that there is a lot of evil that is associated with its application among children.
Borca, G., Bina, M., Keller, P. S., Gilbert, L. R., & Begotti, T. (2015). Internet use and developmental tasks: Adolescents' point of view. Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 49-58.
Collins, A. (Ed.). (2016). Contemporary security studies. Oxford university press.
Howie, E. K., Coenen, P., Campbell, A. C., Ranelli, S., & Straker, L. M. (2017). Head, trunk and arm posture amplitude and variation, muscle activity, sedentariness and physical activity of 3 to 5-year-old children during tablet computer use compared to the television watching and toy play. Applied Ergonomics, 65, 41-50.
Lauricella, A. R., Wartella, E., & Rideout, V. J. (2015). Young children's screen time: The complex role of parent and child factors. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 11-17.
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