It’s like that necessary evil, idiot box TV!
But that was a long time back for another generation. Now the new generation faces the ill effects of modern technology. As thankful we are for the convenience and accessibility that technology has brought to our lives, we still need to take care of our children, ensuring they don’t overuse it. It comes with its own set of disadvantages.
- Lack of Activity
Lack of activity is possibly the worst effect that technology is having on kids because it affects their health in the long run. A more sedentary lifestyle encourages long periods of inactivity and munching. This leads to unhealthy habits and weight gain. At present, 20% of school-going children are already classified as obese because of their BMI. Whereas other children are struggling with their weight, just like adults. With kids spending more time indoors in front of a screen instead of being outdoors, weight gain is becoming a problem for parents all around the world.
- Safety Risks
Kids should use the internet in the supervision of parents. Everybody knows that. But does it happen every single time? No, it does not. It is challenging for parents to supervise every single second that the child is spending online. This leads to a lot of safety risks, as well. They might be exposed to sexual content or pornography, which is not meant for their age. They might even be making accounts online with increased age, to get access to restricted sites with adult content or adult games.
- Social Disconnect
It is easier for kids these days to form relationships on an online platform than offline- in real life. The time spent online has created an in-person social disconnect in children. Children feel socially awkward in real life between a group of people. This often creates isolation in them because more screen time means fewer personal interactions.
- Dulled Imagination
A child’s imagination improves when they imagine, but technology is a form of visual imagery in itself. It does not allow the child to push their creative boundaries or strengthen problem-solving skills. Imagination helps children learn to cope up with various forms of emotions like anger, frustration, irritation etc. Children learn to channel their energies through imagination, but a dip in creativity pushes them towards the virtual world again and again.
- Virtual Triumphs
Often too much technology in their lives, means kids enjoy victories in the virtual world more than the real one. For example, playing tennis online might know all the rules, play well and even win. But in real life, that does not mean they’ll perform the same way in an open court because they’d lack the strength without actual practice. There should be a balance between skill-learning online and offline. Virtual accomplishments alone can lead to psychiatric disorders in the long run.
- Lousy Time Management
While kids are using a technology of any type, keeping a track on time becomes very difficult. They begin to struggle at time management. And it’s not just kids; even adults suffer through the same because technology makes the element of time disappear entirely. It’s the activity that you enjoy so much that you lose a sense of time. And children are just starting to build their schedules, so too much technology can completely disrupt it.
- Financial Disparity
Buying modern technology in itself is a significant investment because even a simple tablet is quite expensive. And once you move towards the branded edge of the spectrum, it only goes higher. This leads to a certain sense of financial disparity within a group of kids also, because everyone does not come from the same background. Some parents can afford expensive technology like Apple, whereas others might not be able to get any. Over time, this creates a disadvantage for kids who come from low-income households who are unable to have access to technology.
- Health Risks
Tired and dry eyes or pain in back and neck are just some of the health issues that kids face with long hours of exposure to a screen. It exhausts them physically as well as mentally. Computer Vision Syndrome has become a widespread problem because of this. Due to the psychological exhaustion of using technology, concentration is a big problem for all parents to deal with.
The cons of technology all come down to one thing, and that is moderation. An excess of anything is wrong, and the same goes for modern technology. Because children cannot help themselves, so it’s the parents who have to step in. Curbing it ultimately isn’t the solution because they need it more than us, especially for productive reasons like school assignments and research. Hence keeping a close watch on them while they’re engaging with technology is the best solution. Explaining the risks of exploiting technology, often makes children understand it better as to why a parent is asking them to use it moderately.