Over two billion people own and use smartphones on a daily basis. This large number of smartphone users has resulted from technological advances in the modern society. Some studies show that an average smartphone user checks their screen at least six times in one hour. The widespread use of smartphones trickles down to young children in the society. Statistics from Britain indicate that seventy percent of children aged eleven to twelve years use a mobile phone (Callow, 2016). This percentage increases to about ninety percent by the age of fourteen. Recent publications on smartphone use have indicated that more than fifty-six percent of children aged between ten and thirteen own a smartphone which is a clear indication that tablets and smartphones have now been replaced baby dolls and basketballs on a child's wish list (Callow, 2016). This raises the concern about the effect of mobile technology on childhood brain development. This topic has been sparking debates among researchers, educators, and parents. Thus, the Apple Inc. has been called to the attention of this issue to establish effective mechanisms to control smartphone use among the children. Having owned the smartphones, many children can regularly access the internet and become avid users of various social network services, instant messaging, and chat rooms (Kim, Lee, & Lee, 2017). As these children access the internet, from their smartphones, the access becomes more frequent and more personalized. However, the use of smartphones has many effects on children's well-being, both negative and positive.
PRO statement: Responsible use of smartphones among children can help them grow mentally and boost their social relations.
CON statement: unregulated use of smartphones among children can have numerous detrimental effects on their well-being.
References that support the PRO Side
Callow, J. (2016). A Shillady (ed.), Spotlight on young children: Exploring language and literacyShilladyA (ed.), Spotlight on young children: Exploring language and literacy, National Association for the Education of Young Children: Washington, DC, 2014; 112 pp. ISBN 978-1-938113-05-5, US$ 20.00 (pbk). Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 17(2), 280-282. doi:10.1177/1468798416659229
Kim, D., University of Mississippi, & the University of Mississippi. (2012). The impact of the user-IT artifact interaction on technology implementation and value: Mobile social networking and mobile social capital.
Kim, K., Lee, M., & Lee, K. Y. (2017). Are Smartphones helpful? An empirical investigation of the role of Smartphones in users' role performance. International Journal of Mobile Communications, 15(2), 119. doi:10.1504/ijmc.2017.10001838
McFarlane, A. (2015). Authentic learning for the digital generation: Realising the potential of technology in the classroom. Oxon, UK: Routledge.
Shillady, A., & Muccio, L. S. (2012). Spotlight on young children and technology. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
References that support the CON side
AlAbdulwahab, S. S., Kachanathu, S. J., & AlMotairi, M. S. (2017). Smartphone use addiction can cause neck disability. Musculoskeletal Care, 15(1), 10-12. doi:10.1002/msc.1170
Derks, D., & Bakker, A. B. (2012). Smartphone Use, Work-Home Interference, and Burnout: A Diary Study on the Role of Recovery. Applied Psychology, 63(3), 411-440. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2012.00530.x
In Young, K. S., & In Abreu, C. N. (2017). Internet addiction in children and adolescents: Risk factors, assessment, and treatment.
Lee, C., & Lee, S. (2017). Prevalence and predictors of smartphone addiction proneness among Korean adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 77, 10-17. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.04.002
Marty-Dugas, J. J., Smilek, D., & the University of Waterloo. (2017). The relation between smartphone use and everyday inattention.
Responsible Use of Smartphones Among Children Can Help Them Grow Mentally and Boost Their Social Relations.
Smartphones are important devices for children when used responsibly. Children with smartphones can communicate conveniently with family and friends. Smartphones help children stay in touch with worried parents who are ever concerned about their children's safety (Callow, 2016). Smartphones have also significant positive effects on childhood psychology and development. Cognitive development theory describes childhood learning as an important mental process that recognizes critical concepts and ideas based on experience and biology. Children's brain grows and function in the same way through the four universal stages of development (Kim, University of Mississippi, & University of Mississippi, 2012). Therefore, smartphone use helps the children to learn a lot of things and gain experiences that develop their cognitive ability. With smartphones, children can access the internet and get a chance to interact with important people around the world. Some of these people become their role models and this motives to strive for success in their academic, social and economic arena. This exposure enables the children to experience around them hence accommodating new ideas. With smartphones such as iPhones, children can build the world around them.
Smartphone use among children is considered to be the best alternative for exploring and socializing with the online community. For instance, children get the opportunity to join the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On these sites, they learn a lot especially from religious and social-affairs groups. Other online interactions such as chatrooms help children to keep up with friends and peers. Through smartphones, children can express themselves to various audiences. Through this expression, they are able to discover new information and ideas they could not have got from adults or parents in the home setting (Shillady & Muccio, 2012). Most children find it easier to express themselves online and talk about issues that would have been difficult to talk about in face-to-face conversations.
Most children who use smartphones like playing a variety of games installed on their phones. Mobile games are one of the strategies to enhance brain development of a kid and help understand what a child likes (Kim, Lee, & Lee, 2017). Through the game, a child improves the whole system of human connections emotionally, to begin with, and after that - intelligently, and the feeling of execution and acts is conceived from the association with someone else.
Parents and Guardians redirect their youngsters' concentration from amusement to some games that truly encourages kids' to develop innovative things, correspondence, and different things. Preschool age is the time of contact with the social environment outside the family, mixing into the plan of social relatives by slow acknowledgment and acknowledgment of the principles said by the community. When enhancing consideration regarding the world of human relations, the need to contribute effectively in the life of "grown-up", without being a grown-up, the most critical new developing of preschool childhood comes up - the Role Playing Game. Amid this Game child acknowledge the part of grown-ups, assimilate the mentalities and activities of grown-ups (McFarlane, 2015). This amusement serves to create hues, figuring out how to lay out a plan, decoration, order things, and recognize creature voices and connect sound with their source.
Some studies recommend that use of the internet for visiting non-profit Web sites, playing educational games and doing schoolwork may convey intelligent and scholarly guides, however, the focal points are normally few or uncertain. Similarly, some indication recommends that use of smartphones for playing savage games and visiting chat rooms and MUDs and talk rooms can have destructive social and mental effects on kids, however, these impacts are frequently directed by other noteworthy factors, for example, a child's developing level and family conditions (McFarlane, 2015). Subsequently, the degree of any terrible social or mental possessions is up 'til now obscure.
Unregulated Use of Smartphones Among Children Can Have Numerous Detrimental Effects On Their Well-Being.
The challenge of managing kids' use of the Internet has been to a great extent surrendered over to parents and youngsters themselves, with little community help. Using filters, monitoring and searching for protected and proper Web sites are all individual and private solutions by which guardians and parents can avoid the potentially harmful impacts of their kids' Internet use. To help guardians and parents worried about their kids' use of the Internet, different government and charitable groups now give resources both in print and on the web, with tips on the best way to use the Internet securely and beneficially (Marty-Dugas, Smilek, & University of Waterloo, 2017). Interactive by means of the smartphone Children's use of the Internet to send and get email and visit chat places is changing the way a few youngsters interconnect with each other. The limited studies determine that to the magnitude youthful Internet users are honest about how they portray themselves on the web (that is, they give information as their "real selves"), and their online connections are with family and companions, there are barely any, terrible impacts, and perhaps some accommodating ones (Lee & Lee, 2017). Young people, especially, report that accuses up of local and far off companions is an exceptionally significant use of the Internet for them. Smartphones pose a wide range of risks on children's lives. If children are left to frequently use smartphones with little or regulations, they are likely to face the following challenges:
Effects on academics and hobbies
Just like teens, children are addicted to smartphones (Marty-Dugas, Smilek, & University of Waterloo, 2017). They play games, access social media platforms, chat and talk with friends and family on their smartphones. They tend to devote most of their time on this activities, leaving little or no time for their studies. For instance, children who frequently use smartphones reduce the time spent on reading and homework. As a result, they end up performing poorly in academics (Derks & Bakker, 2012). They even stop pursuing hobbies which they once loved.
Children of the modern society are known to grow up in a radio-frequency environment. Smartphones emit radiations that can have detrimental impacts on children. Studies indicate that children absorb more than sixty percent of the radiations into the bran than adults (In Young & In Abreu, 2017). This is due to their brain's thinner skin, bones, and tissues permit the absorption of the radiation twice than the adults. Also, children's developing nervous system subjects them to the great risk of this carcinogen.
Inappropriate Usage of Internet
Smartphone use can lead children to engage in bad behaviors. Through the internet, they can access sites that show shocking and harmful content. This can lead to leaving the child confused and scared (AlAbdulwahab, Kachanathu, & AlMotairi, 2017). Children can also use the internet to text and send inappropriate pictures. At times, the images land on wrong persons, giving access to one's private photos. Lastly, children use their multimedia devices such as smartphones to access pornographic sites and this can have a significant effect on their moral standards (Lee & Lee, 2017).
Mobile technology has rapidly changed the modern society in the ways that people get to interact with each other. The young generation has not let behind due to the fact that a majority of teenagers own and use mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones...
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