We don’t have kids, but we have nieces and nephews that we see relatively often. And what we find striking during each visit, is that they spend an incredible amount of time playing on their electronic gadgets. One might think that COVID 19 is partially responsible for that because now they do a bunch of school and homework online. But, the funny thing is that even the little ones, who are now five, don’t let go of tablets, etc.
The situation wasn’t like that when we were growing up. We didn’t have all these toys at our disposal, and we mainly played outside. Hence, as you can imagine, we found this phenomenon pretty interesting and wanted to know more about it. We are also aware opinions about how gadgets affect child development are pretty divided. Some people believe that they are limiting creativity, etc., and that kids should use them as little as possible. Others, however, think there are plenty of modern gadgets benefits but we need to supervise children using them. No, this made us even more curious, so we researched to understand modern gadgets’ disadvantages and advantages.
Link Between Gadgets and Child Development
The situation, in this case, is not black or white. That means that technology affects children in both positive and negative ways. It is critical to consider everything when thinking about how gadgets affect children.
Facilitates the Learning Process
Whatever you are thinking about children using gadgets or technology in general, it is hard to deny that the changes we see in education are an amazing achievement. And, of course, we are not talking about remote education! We are talking about an entire plethora of ways how modern gadgets help students in education. They are designed to enable teachers to understand different learning styles, take different approaches, etc. Finally, there are more ways to motivate the kids to learn. For example, biology and chemistry seemed pretty “dry” in our times. Today, however, you have plenty of children’s books for development online that can help them understand better how things work.
You may laugh at first, but the truth is that playing video games significantly contributes to the development of visual and special skills. While playing the game, children have to learn how to move through space and notice things regardless of how well they are hidden. In this respect, modern baby gadgets play a critical role in enabling kids to understand to read maps, solve problems, etc.
Getting Ready for Technology Related Jobs
Many of us would agree that being tech-savvy from childhood opens up a world of possibilities for those looking for employment later in life. So when we mention technology as the answer to the question of what can affect children’s development, this is what we have in mind. And then, while we can, of course, be critical of the digital era, the reality is that kids with this type of knowledge are more likely to have a more secure future. That is why we believe that all children should have kids learning laptop. Nonetheless, you need to control how much time they spend using it.
Better Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills
When playing video games, kids are confronted with different problems that they have to solve. It helps them develop skills such as patience and persistence, for example, that will be quite useful later in life. The same stands for making decisions.
Diminished Attention Span
Whereas it teaches them patience for solving problems, technology also teaches kids that they will get whatever they want instantly. For example, they only need to turn on the TV and the favorite program is there. It is also quick to load a game because the internet is pretty fast these days. Through this, they learn that they don’t need to wait for anything.
Higher Risks for Mental Health
Children, same as adults, are social beings, and they need to spend time with others who are their age. Spending too much time playing with tech gadgets in a way isolates them. Even if they are communicating with their peers while playing video games, etc., it cannot replace actual contact. Kids who are isolated and whose contacts are reduced to cyberspace are more prone to depression and other mental health issues.
The risk of obesity is something that we have to take super seriously when talking about gadgets and human health. It is in human nature to be physically active, right? However, when we spend too much time with our electronic toys, we start to live a pretty sedentary life. It is the same for children and adults. And the more we are sitting, the more we will want too much of something while playing the games or watching films or YouTube videos. This type of life significantly increases the risk of obesity.
Increased Risk of Bullying
The fact is that the content online can be fascinating, educational, etc. However, it can also be super problematic and violent. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to control everything our kids do in the cyber world. Hence, if the kids are exposed to violent content, it affects them to become violent. Due to this, we are now facing unimaginable problems with cyberbullying, which is only growing following technological progress.
That is all about gadgets and child development for today! As you could see, there are plenty of positive effects. But also negative ways of how technology affects children. In our opinion, the best way to use these gadgets is to find a balance. And we believe it is necessary for children and adults alike. Do you think your kids are using tech toys too much or too often? Are you planning to do something about it?
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a journalist and a blogger living in California and writing articles for different websites since 2015. She has a degree in medicine; hence she is covering everything related to health, wellness, etc., including motherhood and breastfeeding.