The Negative Effect of Kids Using Tech Devices
What are they losing to these addictive things?
Hello everyone. As I go about my daily living, I can't help but notice the amount of kids with smartphones and/or tablets. I have seen kids as young as two or three with a tech device in tow. Most of what I see them doing is watching a silly, nonessential cartoon, playing mobile games, and listening to songs.
The first thing I pay attention to is if kids are benefitting from the constant stream of information from tech devices, for hours. Is this a positive or negative effect on their lives? I do not believe that technology is evil, rather it's how you use it. Many parents believe that tech devices can help kids learn better, whether it's spelling, solving math problems, or learning shapes and colors. However, I beg to differ. I see this as mostly a negative effect on children.
Before I share my thoughts about tech devices and the internet on kids, I will share a little history about tech devices when I was younger. I am in my 20s, I grew up in the early 2000s. The popular tech devices for kids & teens at the time were Gameboys, PDAs, and the simple cell phone. I never owned any of these devices in the 2000s, but I did watch plenty of TV and play educational computer games, and that was it. I got to have a childhood without those distractions. However, my parents gave me and my sister an Android tablet in 2012, my first device. It wasn't long before I was like most other teens overusing my device. Long story short, I spent more time using the tablet, and less time engaged with other activities before the digital age.
This is when the negative part of kids and tech devices come in. Because I didn't own any tech devices or the internet, I had to create things to do. Mostly it was, playing board games, reading books, creating cities for my toys, and playing outside with others. If kids spend most of their time on the internet and gadgets, when will they have time for these things? Many others have written their views and solutions for the overuse and overdependence of the internet. However, I'm most concerned about kids losing their imagination and creativity through these glowing gadgets.
Here is one example. Most kids like to stream video content (think YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat, and Dailymotion). No longer do they have to wait for Saturday mornings to arrive to watch their favorite shows like I did. With a few taps, they can watch what they want, anytime they want. However, most of what comes through these sites have highly degrading and immoral content, but that's for another article. Compare watching hours of endless content with something like, reading a book. It doesn't take much effort to just sit down and watch TV in a trance-like state. Then compare that to kids reading a novel or playing with Legos. It takes effort and concentration.
What they lose is the ability to use their imagination, to be creative, and to be social. Why is it important that kids have an imagination and creativity? It gives them an opportunity to create something that no one else has come up with before. With tech devices, they receive a constant stream of information that clogs their minds. While they will know a lot of information, they will have no use for it. Just look at how this society has trending topics that are good for a while, until something else comes along. If they don't start being creative, they will follow what everyone else is doing and miss out on what they can create. Just think about this the next time you see kids with their heads down, looking at screens. When they start looking up to see a world that they can impact, then we will see change.