17 Negative & Positive Effects of Technology on Children and How to Overcome Them
We’re living in a technological age, where smartphones and the internet are key parts of modern life. But many parents are worried about the negative effects of technology on their children. In this guide, we’ll look at some examples of both the positive and negative effects of technology and explore ways to overcome the negatives.
- Negative Effects of Technology: What Are They?
- 5 Positive Effects of Technology
- How to Overcome Negative Effects
Negative Effects of Technology: What Are They?
It’s clear that technology brings plenty of convenient benefits into our lives. But there are also negative effects of technology on society. It’s important to be aware of these negative effects so that we know what warning signs to watch out for and how to avoid and overcome some of the problems that we might encounter.
How to Recognize Technology Addiction Among Children?
One of the most worrying negative effects of technology is the risk of addiction, especially in young people. Many children and teens are suffering from addiction issues related to technology, like video game addiction and smartphone addiction. Here are some of the signs to watch out for:
- Excessive Use. One of the most common signs of childhood technology addiction is when children use their devices excessively. If your child is constantly glued to their smartphone screen, for example, they might addicted.
- Lack of Interest. Technology addicts also generally show a lack of interest in other activities or subjects. Addicted children might not want to play other games, socialize with friends, or spend time in nature, for example.
- Angry Responses. Another sign of addiction is when a child gets angry or upset if they aren’t able to access their devices. They might scream or cry if you try to take their phone away from them for a while, for example.
- Social Problems. Kids who are addicted to screens might also exhibit social problems. They may struggle to communicate or find interactions with other humans to be difficult. They may also prefer to lead out a virtual or digital life on their devices instead.
12 Examples of How Technology Affects Children Negatively
Addiction is just one of the problems that can affect children. There are lots of other negative effects associated with excessive usage of technological devices. Here are some of the main downsides that parents need to know about.
Technology can have a serious impact on a child’s social development. If they only ever interact with others via social media and video games, they may struggle to develop real social bonds. They might also find it hard to understand the general rules and etiquette of society, as they spend so much time in digital worlds where those rules don’t apply.
Technology can also take a toll on a child’s mental health in a lot of different ways. Children can suffer from stress, anxiety, and even depression because of spending too much time on the internet. They might get stressed about maintaining their various online profiles, for example, or anxious about getting the latest devices to keep up with their friends.
There are also many safety risks associated with technology. Devices like phones can be used to track a person’s location, for example. In addition, social media sites and chatrooms are often used by predators and groomers to trick children into providing them with personal information or photos.
There are many negative effects of technology in the classroom. Some children try less in school because they feel they can simply Google anything they need to know. Others use technology to cheat in tests and exams. Relying too much on the internet can also make kids less curious and creative.
Warped Sense of Reality
The online world simply isn’t the same as the real world. People act differently online, saying things that they wouldn’t say in real life. If kids spend too much time in that digital world, they might come out with a warped sense of what reality is. This may have serious connotations later on when it comes to forming relationships, following laws, or entering the world of work.
Lack of Sleep
There are even physical effects associated with technology, like a lack of sleep. Many kids can spend hours on their video games, computers, and other devices, staying up late to chat with friends or play games. The blue light emitted by screens keeps the brain awake, making it harder to sleep and triggering insomnia in many users.
Cyberbullying simply didn’t exist before technology, but now it’s one of the biggest problems for kids and parents around the world. With cyberbullying, children can pick on one another or spread harmful rumors about each other online. It can be hard to track down and punish cyberbullies, and the consequences of their behavior can be very damaging to victims.
Aches and Pains
Another physical side effect of too much technology can manifest in the form of aches and pains throughout the body. If kids bend their necks to look at their phones too often, for example, they may struggle with neck and back pain. In addition, some children develop wrist aches from typing too much.
Lack of Exercise
One of the big worries for parents is when kids spend so much time on technological devices that they show no interest in going outdoors and getting some physical exercise. Many kids prefer to spend their free time playing games or watching online videos. This can lead to weight gain and heightened risks of various diseases.
Exposure to Mature Content
It’s no secret that there’s a lot of mature content on the internet, from pornography to violence and gore. Some sites have strong moderation policies to try and restrict this kind of content, but others allow it to spread freely. It’s relatively easy for kids to inadvertently or intentionally view mature content, and this can be very damaging to their social development and mental health.
Exposure to Misinformation
There’s also a lot of misinformation online. Many sites and users write false stories and spread fake narratives or propaganda. Children may easily believe what they read online, which could also inform their political views, opinions on other cultures and people, and their behavior towards humanity in general.
One of the big issues with technology for a lot of young people, especially teens, is self-image problems. Teens often see users on social media boasting about their glamorous lives and showing off highly-edited photos of themselves. They then worry that their own bodies and lives aren’t good enough. This can, once again, lead to depression and mental health issues.
5 Positive Effects of Technology
Of course, it’s not all bad news when it comes to technology. Modern technologies have also brought plenty of positive things to the lives of those around the world, and here are just a few simple examples.
Technology has almost limitless potential for children’s education. The internet is filled with resources to help with learning, such as educational videos, online encyclopedias, and so much more.
Related: Cell Phones in School: Pros and Cons.
Communicating with Others
The development of social media sites has changed the way we communicate. Thanks to modern technology, kids can easily keep in touch with friends and family, even when they’re far apart.
Fun and Entertainment
There are also lots of ways to have fun with the aid of technology. Video games can be a fun pastime for children, while technology also opens the doors to a world of audio-visual entertainment like videos, podcasts, and music.
Even though there are some safety risks with technology, it also has its benefits. Certain apps can help people stay safe in strange places, for example, and GPS can be used to find missing or abducted children.
Technological tools and software give children lots of new ways to express themselves. They can make digital art, for example, create their own videos, or express their personalities via blogs and social media profiles.
How to Overcome Negative Effects
It’s not really possible to simply stop kids from ever using technology, as it’s such a big part of the modern world. So, what can you do to overcome some of these negative effects and help kids get the benefits of modern devices without the risks? Here are some tips and tricks to help you:
- Communicate. One of the best things parents can do is talk to their kids. Tell them about the risks and dangers of technology and make them aware of the negative sides so that they understand the risks.
- Diversify. It’s also good to provide a diverse and rich life for your children. Don’t just leave them indoors on their devices all day long. Take them out for cultural activities and meetings with other people.
- Safe Tracker Apps. To counter some of the safety risks of phones and technology, install safe tracker apps, like Findmykids. This allows you to see exactly where your child is at all times.
- Screen Time Limits. It’s important to prevent kids from spending too much time on their screens each day. Apps like Kids360 can help with this, locking out certain apps after they’ve been used for a certain amount of time.
- Set an Example. It’s up to parents to set a good example for their kids. If you want your kids to avoid spending too much time on technological devices, you need to do the same.
- No-Device Zones. You might like to designate certain spaces in the house that are ‘device-free’. The dining table, for example, can be a place where everyone gathers each day without their phones or tablets.
- Device Curfew. You might also like to set up a device curfew for your kids. For example, some parents have a rule that devices go off at 9 pm and don’t come back on again until 7 am the next morning.
- Control Content. Make use of filters and parental control settings to control what kinds of content your kids have access to.
- Stick to Your Plan. Once you’ve made a plan to control your kids’ technology usage, try to stick with it. Children thrive on consistency and can be disturbed if rules are always changing.
It’s totally natural to be concerned about the effects of technology on your children. However, with smart, proactive parenting, it’s perfectly possible to help your kids enjoy the benefits and fun sides of modern devices without too many negative aspects.
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