Technology and Kids: The Psychological Impact

Technology and Kids: The Psychological Impact

Mark Scott

Technology doesn’t only impact a child’s physical development.  As we’re beginning to see, it can also severely impact a child’s mental health.

As children grow and develop, the amount of technology they use increases.  Children first use technology in order to learn the alphabet, basic addition and subtraction, pronunciation, how to read, etc. These learning methods are questioned by many… why change what has worked in the past?

“What has worked in the past” refers to the traditional learning methods of reading from a book or learning on paper.

Skeptics are not wrong to have their doubts about these new methods of learning.

“Not surprisingly, studies have shown that the increase of technology has led to a decrease in daily reading. In addition, it’s been argued that because many blocks of text you encounter on digital devices are written in 140 characters or less, children are not challenged to think critically, or to expand on their thoughts,” wrote Anastasia Moloney

Internet learning offers children, “to the point” and concise learning lessons. This learning method does not challenge children to look for their answers, it lacks an assertion of problem solving.

Are we allowing our children to become too reliant on technology?

If a child lacks the skills of problem solving and critical thinking how can we expect them to succeed in school? The internet cannot find the answer to every question.

Along with critical thinking and problem solving, children’s attention spans have shortened.

“’lack the attention span to read assignments on their own,’ due to cellphones and social media. ‘You can’t become a good writer by watching YouTube, texting and e-mailing a bunch of abbreviations,’ said veteran teacher, Marcia Blondel.

Children need to read and engage intellectual activity out of the classroom in order to develop their brains.

The time that would be spend on reading and holding engaging conversations, gets replaced by engaging in internet entertainment.

Technology is weakening families.

“One study found that when the working parent arrived home after work, his or her children were so immersed in technology that the parent was greeted only 30 percent of the time and was totally ignored 50 percent of the time,” wrote Jim Taylor, PhD

Welcoming someone home after a long day of work seems like a common courtesy, no?

Early access to social media has shown effects on the support children feel from their parents.

“Another study reported that family time was not affected when technology was used for school but did hurt family communications when used for social reasons. Interestingly, children who spent considerable time on a popular social networking site indicated that they felt less supported by their parents,” explained Taylor.

Social media and other network sights can lower self-esteem. These sites make children feel that their lives are not special.

My Take

The article picks out the thing’s technology takes away from mental development, with that in mind there are many good things technology offers children.

Children can use technology to teach them new things, and expand their understanding of knowledge needed for grade school; the alphabet, learning to read, pronunciation, addition, and subtraction, etc.

The purpose of this article is to show that technology is a great tool we have at our disposal, this “great tool” can be taken advantage of.

There is no way of stopping technology influencing our children. However, the way we integrate technology into their lives in the first way of fixing the issue.