Kids are spending more time than ever before engaging in new technology and in front of screens, and it could be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, as well as negatively affecting their development. But not all technology is bad. The effects of technology on children is rather complicated. Whether technology hurts or helps kids depends largely on the specific technology, the frequency in which it is used and how it is used.
A fine example of a technology that helps children is active gaming. Active gaming, or exergaming, combines two very popular concepts among children: video games and physical activity.
There are plenty of studies that show children who play interactive games have fun, stay fit and socialize more. So not only do children reap the physical benefits of active gaming, but the physiological benefits as well. But the greatest advantage exergames have over traditional methods of exercise is in the fact that while they are engaging in physical activity, they are being entertained.
This is why there is such a high level of engagement in such games as iDance, 3 Kick and Eyeplay.
There are also ways in which technology negatively affects our children.
The internet holds a vast amount of information, much of it is not true as you know. Studies show that having too much information can be as dangerous as having too little. Some children have a difficult time learning how to deal with a world of unrelenting exponential growth of information. The internet is growing by about 2,000 new websites every day, that is a lot of information to have to digest.
If you think of attention as a gateway to thinking, then you know that without it, other aspects, such as memory, creativity and reasoning cannot exist. However, today’s kids are immediately thrust into a vastly varied environment in which imagination is unnecessary, memory is inhibited and distraction is the norm. Welcome to the new age of technology.
With the emergence of smartphones with cameras and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, there are faster and newer and more creative ways in which children can make bad decisions. Technological developments over the last several years have made poor decision making far easier, immediate and wildly spreading. In many cases, these bad decisions are far more consequential and may hinder an individual for quite some time.
Indeed, the internet is full of the answers you seek. A major benefit technology offers is in the ease of which we can obtain information. Ask several children where to find information about a particular subject and you will receive the same answer from all: the internet.
But when looking for information becomes too easy, children fail to retain that information for any amount of time. That is, they don’t keep it to memory. They may discover who the first man on the moon was, but that information is soon lost because they know where to find it again should the need arise.
Technology isn’t necessarily bad, what is bad is how you use it.