How technology affects a child’s development Technology is one of the principal forces of the future, it has transformed our lives at surprising rates, with a profound involvement in the lives of many humans, which we can’t even begin to see or understand.  Technology is constantly changing everyday, and will forever be in our lives. Kids in the current generation are consumed by today’s technology, and its causing more damage than good in term of their social and mental development. The effect that technology has on our children has brought on many concerns within parents and peers. Children in today’s age have no choice but to somehow be influenced by the constant growth of  technology in our society.

The most common concern has been that although technology has increased children’s talent for multitasking, their ability to process specific information deeply and thoroughly may be deteriorating. Along with their mental development, children’s social skills are deteriorating as well. Children are less likely to go outside and play with one another, which is practicing their social skills, and are instead inside playing with their video games and tech devices.

Technology can refer to many things, but there are three main types of technology that are having the most influence on today’s children: video games, television/media, and the use of computers. The types of technology that is used today is so addicting because it attract one’s genetic biases. The human brain has a tremendous love for visually presented information. Video games, television, movies and computer programs are all visually oriented and therefore they attract and keep the attention of children easily. Everyday it becomes more clear that technology can be addicting, and that items such as  iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that technology can affect the brain’s frontal cortex, which controls executive functioning, including impulse control,  in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises one’s dopamine levels, the feel good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic.

This is dangerous because kids can become addicted to these devices, and lead to them only looking at a screen rather than going out and experiencing the world in person.Technology affects children’s mental development in a way that causes them to be more focused on their phones, rather than what they are doing. This tech influence isn’t just affecting children on the surface of their thinking. In other words, because their brains are still developing and susceptible, frequent exposure by technology is wiring the brain in ways very different than in previous generations. Attention is a way for one to achieve thinking. Without it, all aspects of thinking, perception, memory, language, learning, creativity, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making are greatly diminished or it can ultimately lead to it not being able to occur in one’s brain at all at all. What is clear is that, as there are advances throughout history, the technology that is available determines how humans brains develop.

The ability for children to learn, and to focus effectively lays at the foundation for almost all aspects of their growth. It is fundamental to their development into becoming successful and happy people.With a child that is developing sensory, motor, and attachment systems, technology can disrupt them from reaching their full potential in their growth. Humans are not biologically evolved to accommodate this stationary, yet frantic and chaotic nature of today’s technology.

The impact of rapidly advancing technology on a developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavioral disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, but still do not have a complete understanding of. National epidemics are now being brought into the light in both Canada and the U.S., which are related to technology overuse.

Diagnoses of  autism, coordination disorder, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are associated with technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. Some doctors say the overwhelming rise in diagnoses such as ADD and ADHD can be directly linked to the overuse of things like cell phones, tablets, computers, and televisions. The stress caused on the body during use of things such as video games causes a persistent hypervigilant sensory system, the long term effects of the body being on “alert” for long periods of time is the rise we see in weakened immune system, serious diseases, and disorders. Other auditory processing disorders that were mostly unheard of have become more common than ever before. Anxiety can be caused due to the rise in blood pressure and heart rate for an extended period of time when using gaming technology. When taking a closer look at the critical factors for meeting developmental milestones, and the subsequent impact of technology on those factors, would assist parents, teachers and health professionals to better understand the complexities of this issue, and help create effective strategies to reduce technology use.Technology also has profound impacts on the way children think and feel.

Since technology is full of stimuli and often requires paying attention to many different things at once, children who play many video games or spend most of their time online tend to have less of an ability to focus than kids who use technology minimally. It can also affect the way kids process information. When kids are exposed to high levels of technology, they tend to think through things only superficially and don’t develop the ability to think critically or be creative when learning new concepts. Kids are learning in their early years to be creative, but if they are coming back home and going straight to video games, they are missing out on using their creativity to interact with other kids. They are creating a concept of a virtual reality, rather than the world actually, which is bad due to both being completely different.

A child’s mental and social development are being jeopardized here due to them believing the world is like a video game, and they begin to believe one can communicate how they would do with others in a video game. Technology is limiting a child from experiencing and learning themselves, due to hem instead being on their phones or playing a game.Additionally, in recent research has shown screens from devices such as tablets and smartphones emit harmful blue light that can cause headaches, eye strain and irritated eyes for children. Furthermore, sleep is also disturbed by harmful blue light when children are exposed to screen time in the evening due to the suppression of the hormone melatonin which regulates the sleep wake cycle.

This makes it increasingly difficult for a child’s body to effectively prepare to get ready for a good night’s sleep. Sleep Deprivation comes from the brain not knowing how to turn off. After hours on a technology based item the brain is moving on to the next level, or chapter instead of turning off and getting good rest. It takes over 30 minutes for your eyes to relax after you turn something with a backlight off on devices such as a cell phone or a tablets. When children are not getting enough sleep due to not being on their phones, it affects the mental health, and leaving them sleep deprived, and poorly rested. The child has essentially given themselves a mini case of jet lag.

Children need their sleep because their minds are still growing, and without sleep a child’s mental development can be altered.Technology affects the way kids socialize and interact with others, which can have huge impacts on their mental and emotional well-being. It has now become common knowledge that high levels of social media use, in both kids and adults, can lower self-esteem and create negative moods. However, all types of technology can actually have negative effects on children when used in excess, because they lower children’s frequency of interacting with their peers. This makes it more difficult for them to pick up on social cues and develop meaningful relationships with others??something that can have serious negative consequences as they grow and develop. They also have a difficult time developing emotions the same way other kids would if they spend too much of their time with technology and not enough time being engaged while in the presence of others.Technology has completely changed virtually every aspect of our society over the past few decades, from the way we work to the way we socialize and everything in between.

One of the differences that have been most noticeable is the change in the way that children play and interact with each other from previous generations. Technology also can have several negative effects on child development and quality of life. Many kids are spending most of their time playing video games, watching television and using social networks like facebook. The more time they spend using these technologies, the more time they spend alone. In result of this, they get little time to socialize with their peers. If a child has poor social skills, they will find it hard to deal with people when they grow up and this can be harmful to their lives and careers in the long run. People who are not social find it hard to mix with society and in most cases they suffer from depression, which in a lot of cases results in committing suicide.

The effects of both violent and nonviolent video game playing can be determined by the amount of time playing the video game and by the content of the games being played. The content of the games being played could definitely have a factor in how a child performs in school, and how aggressive they are towards peers and teachers. Obviously if a child is playing hours upon hours of violent video games, this can lead to them acting out violence and having no consequences for it. If a child took the time that they played video games a week and used that time to be engaged in reading, homework or even a creative activity we’d have less issues with our children’s school performances. Parents should really be monitoring how long their child is playing video games, but this doesn’t always happen. A child who plays video games for long periods of time could also build up a social wall, become a loner.

It is important for children to interact with other children in order to help develop their social skills, which without will make it very difficult to make it in this world. At the age children start playing video games, it is hard for them to distinguish what is reality and what is not. So in some cases the violent acts in video games could make the child believe the world is a scary place. One of the biggest differences in the way that children live today is that they don’t get as much exercise as they used to.This is because technology such as computers, smartphones and television encourages them to be sedentary when they get home from school, as opposed to going outside and playing with other kids.

Child obesity rates have risen dramatically over the past several decades. In 2012, the child obesity rate was measured to be 18 percent, which is an 11 point difference from the obesity rate in 1980. Some kids are more prone toward getting obesity due to a combination of technology activity and physical inactivity. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 10.4 percent of preschool children and 19.6 percent of children ages 6 through 11 are obese.

Some kids act out inappropriately physically, especially when watching violent games on TV. In conclusion, technology is something that impacts children on an everyday basis. Children are affected by technology due to the many qualities that make technology so appealing to humans, and makes one addicted. A child’s mental health is jeopardized by technology through them becoming more focused on the technology they are drawn to, rather than focusing on what is in front of them. Technology can cause one to have headaches, eye strain and irritated eyes, and ultimately lose sleep, which can mess with the development of children’s growing brains.

Technology also affects a child’s social development, in terms of how they communicate with their peers. Kids today are glued to their technology, and the lose out on the face to face communication, which teaches them how to conversate. Children also are not getting enough exercise due to being inside on their technology so much, that it can lead to them having a greater risk of being overweight, and ultimately getting diabetes. A child can have a negative social life as well due to technology such as video games causing them to act out towards their peers and to become aggressive. Ultimately a child’s social development is important, because if they can not communicate with people they can end up alone, which leads to the child being depressed or suicidal. The social and mental development is important for children because it help them be a functional human being, and with technology being a constant factor, ir could jeopardize their chances.


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