Is Technology Affecting the Developmental Progress of Children?
Patrcia Odani Mukuka
Southern New Hampshire University
Increasingly, there is a large dependence on technology today as opposed to ten or twenty years ago. Technology has changed a lot of how life is lived today. It affects shopping, job seeking employment opportunities, entertainment and academics. There is no doubt that technology has set its foundation and is here to stay. One area in which the effects of technology can be clearly noted is in the lifestyle of children. The addiction to technology by children today has increased over the years. This is clearly seen in the developmental progress of children today. This ...view middle of the document...
All these forms of social media are easily accessible from technological devices like mobile phones, tablets or iPad, which are commonly used in schools, and unfortunately, are readily available for use outside the school settings, which is an uncontrolled environment. Therefore, children are not limited on how much or what kinds of content they view on social media.
A report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project in 2011 found that 80% of teenage users between the ages 12 and 17 use a social networking site and 93% of them have Facebook accounts. A media poll done in 2009 records more than 50% of adolescents log onto their social media site more than once a day, while 22% log on more than 10 times a day. There have been several problems linked to over indulgence in social media and the cyber world in children, which result in negative offline consequences like Facebook depression, antisocial behavior or flight from conversation to mention a few (Farber et. al, 2012). These statistics show an alarming rate at which young adolescents are exposed to social networking. Not only are the percentages of young children that have social media accounts like Facebook disturbing, but the rate at which children are actively on their Facebook accounts is also a cause to worry. A report by the American Pediatric Association directly implicates, “social networking sites and not the common temper tantrums of adolescence as being responsible for some of the most noteworthy clinical symptoms seen by clinical professional today” (O’Keeffe et. al, 2011). In addition, a study of adolescents, online communication and their closeness to friends, authors Valkenburg et. al (2007) mention that depression, sleep deprivation, social anxiety, aggression, internet addiction, and social isolation have all been noted as potential consequences of adolescent social media usage. These clinical symptoms also add to how poorly youth interact with each other. The constant need to be accepted and compete with peers on social media does affect children’s behavior in real life, as can be seen by the clinical symptoms diagnosed as a result or too much or lack of use of social media. The fact that children today feel more at ease communicating via technology does show how much technology has affected the way they interact with their peers.
Learning methods have also been transformed by technology. Before technology was incorporated in schools, essay writing was hand written, regardless of how long the essay was. Mathematical problems were solved mentally or calculated on paper until the solution was found. Handwriting skills in children was good, because of the amount of practice they had using it everyday in their school work. Furthermore, children developed a vast amount of book knowledge by using library resources from actual books. However, today it is not the norm. Almost every school issues students with devices like iPads or tablets from as early...