Technology's Influence on Kids/Society

April 19, 2019

              The challenging process of education and being a parent is thinking about how technology can change it all. Growing up, I was raised where I was always outside playing with my neighbors, going out with my mom, watching cartoons, playing with my Barbie dolls and the list goes on, but not once had I ever touched a phone, a tablet or any type of technological device. I walk around now and see five year olds with the same type of phone as me, two years olds learning how to function a phone and then there’s the young teenagers who are exploring the apps and special features. There are so many controversial conversations about technology and how it's becoming an issue in society. Children lose focus in school and it gets to a point where parents and teachers don't know what to do. Technology has changed the focus of education , the focus of parenting and the belief to think that it's made a positive change in society.

 

                As schools involve more technology, students become much more active with their learning. In the past years, it would always be teachers lecturing, providing notebooks to write notes, having paper test, active activities and the list goes on, but now it seems as if all of those things are online. To write essays and pop them up everywhere on any device leads to what we know as google docs, to take test teachers can create it online and share it with the class, to play games there are a bunch of different kinds of apps online and for resources, it's all online. Teachers become a guidance rather than a resource. Once when I was in class about two years ago, a teacher had asked a student to put his phone down. With much respect the student said, “Why should I put my phone down when half of the things you are teaching are right online “. That's when it hit me. We now live in a generation in which almost everything we do involves technology and without the basic skills of it taught in school, it's impossible for students to get work done. “One of the key attributes of many new technologies is their capacity to allow people to share information quickly and to cross from local to global and back again”. When they need to type an essay , they use a technological device, when they need to look up any information they go on the internet and most importantly to contact anyone at all they use a form of technology. Most people might look at it as a distraction in school, but in reality, learning the basics of technology sets the foundation for many of the jobs in the world that require at least a some bit of tech background.

 

             Not only has the use of technology been an issue at schools, but parents find themselves in a situation where they don't know whether or not to believe this new generation of technology is good for their kids. “The concern among some experts is that these devices, if used in particular ways, could be changing children's brains for the worse—potentially affecting their attention, motor control, language skills and eyesight, especially in under-fives, for whom so much brain development is taking place” (Solon, Olivia). I analyze my little sisters every single day and realize how different their childhood is compared to mine and I find it funny how we were all raised by the same parent , just at a different time. I grew up in an era where cell phones were just coming out, where kids at the age of seven were playing with Barbie dolls, riding bikes outside, and etc. and now, it seems like everything entertaining and educational happens on a screen. The question then becomes, what can parents do to stop it? And is it really an issue ? I find that the issue with giving someone as young as a two year old a phone to keep them quiet is the wrong way and total opposite of what being a parent should be like. Every child needs attention, they need to learn about the world and play with toys, every child deserves a childhood that does not consist of watching other kids play with toys on YouTube. Parents cannot criticize and say technology is the issue if they’re providing their children access to it. It's as if they were feeding their kids milk that they already knew was rotten.

 

        In my opinion, I find that toddlers should have access to technology, but there should also be a limit. Now and days, the internet has many inappropriate things online and there's only so much you can do to hide it all from a two year old as you pass them the tablet. There should be a limit to what they watch, how much time they spend on the tablet and also what they can do to positively educate themselves with it. At the same time though, technology seems to have become a part of our everyday life now that if you don’t give your kids access to it and teach them about it at an early age, they’ll end up being behind. The reality is that we live in a society where technology is everywhere. It is almost impossible to have a child not touch a device that’ll lead them to the internet. My two year old sister knows how to go from Snapchat , to messages , to YouTube, and then back to the lock screen and many times when I take away the phone, she throws a tantrum, but that's where the parenting comes in. You cannot blame technology for being an issue if as a guardian, parent or teacher has access to the amount of time they give their students or kids in general to use an iPad.

 

 

References

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behind-online-behavior/201604/what-screen-time-can-really-do-kids-brains

 

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/mar/13/technology-civil-society-policy

 

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