We can easily see how technology has enhanced the daily lives of us and our children. Communicating makes it easy to access digital information and reach people around the globe 24/7. Countless digital entertainment options at hand. Extensive library of information on any subject.
It can be said that technological equipment is almost like magic when it magically resolves things that we do not understand. Children visually absorb each new digital advancement. With diverse thinking abilities, children can push new technologies in ways that are more exciting than ever.
However, despite the advancements in technology, it still has bad sides on the lives of children if they don’t use it wisely. The article will analyze some of the relationships between children and technology and how the inappropriate use of technology affects your kids.
Why kids and technology relationship is becoming worse?
Digital technologies — such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones — are now very widespread. Billions of people interact with digital technology every day, and this is also the age when even children use technology. According to the report, young people use digital technology a lot.
Over the past few years, there has been an alarming increase in the use of psychological health services among children and adolescents in developed countries. In Canada, the demand for psychological health services for children and adolescents is growing rapidly. A survey by Ottawa Public Health found that one in nine teenagers seriously considered committing suicide or harming themselves in 2012.
Kids and technology – How misuse technology badly affects your kids?
Putting stress on your child’s brain
Research has shown that even though the part of the thinking brain that recognizes the input is stimulating or interesting, the part of the sensory brain that recognizes the exposure is stress.
Blue light emitted from screens has been shown to decrease the brain’s ability to initiate sleep. If your child is exposed to a screen for many hours a day, over time, his brain begins to develop a chronic stress response.
Your child’s body will begin to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone that can impair brain function, including memory, concentration, and emotional regulation. This has the potential to increase your child’s risk of developing anxiety and mood symptoms, while also impairing your child’s ability to recover emotionally.
Additionally, the vast majority of digital content used by children is carefully designed to be as addictive as possible. Due to brain development and synaptic flexibility, children and young adults are especially susceptible to addiction if they tend to develop an overuse habit, it will be difficult for your child to break this habit.
Risk of access to pornography
Pornography is so widespread online that only a few gender-related keywords put your child at high risk of accessing pornography. Research shows that most pornography and sex addiction begin in adolescence. Pornography negatively affects brain development, badly changes the view of self-image and encourages attitudes and acts of violence against women.
Your child is still human, and therefore he/she has certain privacy rights. Instead of suddenly snatching your child’s phone and reading everything on it, forbid your child from using the computer when no adult is around or constantly staring at their screen, etc. those sound effective but extremely counterproductive.
Instead, ACT WISELY by installing content filtering tools that use the most advanced technology such as CyberPurify’s AI, which protects your child not only from pornography but also other malicious content that affects their physical and mental development like weapons, gore, accidents, etc. It will let your kids learn and explore the Internet freely but still securely.
Limited communication skills
Research data shows that children and teenagers spend a lot of time, mostly unattended, in front of televisions and computers. For your child, spending time on screen can be fun and entertaining. Therefore, they will spend less time socializing with friends and expanding their relationships.
Direct communication with those around your child is the foundation to start building intimate, safe, meaningful social relationships, creating a premise for a strong relationship. This is the most important task of childhood: learning social skills. Mastering these skills requires the use of all of your child’s senses and requires constant practice and repetition. Don’t compromise technology with social skills.
Risks of cyber attacks
An online predator is when an adult uses the Internet to take advantage of a child and/or young person for sexual or financial abuse. Sexual predators and other predators often stalk children on the Internet, taking advantage of their innocence, lack of adult supervision and abuse of their trust.
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Some common forms of cyber-predation are the online predator sending illegal images, audio or video to children under an approved age. Or the predator entices the minor to engage in pornographic conversations. Or arrange to meet with a minor to commit sexual acts that are illegal, unlawful and unethical.
Your child can become highly at risk of Phishing – what cybersecurity experts call an attacker masquerading as a reputable unit to trick users into giving them personal information by using emails trying to deceive people to click on malicious links or attachments.
From there, they will steal their account information & login passwords, transaction passwords, credit cards and other valuable information.
Limit body language using ability
Developing social skills requires interacting with the surroundings and with others, not through texting, tweeting, email, or video calling. Your child’s most important parts of communication are nonverbal – their posture and body movements, facial expressions, voice and volume, and speed of speech. Your child’s personal space and physical contact with friends can convey vast amounts of powerful information without a word.
Some studies show that as technology usage increases, social skills deteriorate. Many high school teachers have observed that students who use a lot of technology have a reduced ability to initiate conversation, make eye contact, and determine emotional responses in others. Children and adolescents with a lack of social skills are more likely to experience social anxiety and emotional and behavioral disorders.
What parents can do to help kids use technology better?
Faced with these challenges, some strategies can reduce the potential negative impact of digital technology on the developing brains of children and teenagers.
Establish a healthy technology using routine
Create and maintain technology habits at home with children and teenagers. These habits should have clear rules and limits, everyone knows. Create family and friends interaction time without digital devices such as taking your children into family extracurricular activities, taking them to school courses and programs to increase the quantity and quality of face-to-face communication with their friends.
Make sure what your kids watch online is age-appropriate
Making sure this balance is not enough, you need to make sure what your kids approach online is appropriate for their age. A series of inappropriate content such as porn, bloody murder scenes, weapons, etc. is stalking your child in the virtual world every day without your knowledge. These harmful contents negatively affect your child’s brain development, from anorexia, trouble sleeping to depression, even suicide.
So, to protect your child from these threats, it is necessary to use harmful content filtering (porn, sex, drugs, weapons, creepy photos, videos, etc.) like CyberPurify so that your child can freely learn and explore the Internet (within appropriate time used, of course), while still being protected.
Maintain an open conversation with children about their digital activities
Regularly talk to your child about what they are doing. Talk about the potential dangers of online gaming, over-sharing on social media, virtual relationships, the risks associated with chat groups.
Be a role model for your child’s usage habits
With the development of technology along with Covid-19, it is impractical to not allow your child to use technology. However, once your child is stepping into it, you need to clearly show how much screen time is enough, ensuring a balance between time spent using technology and outside activities.
As parents, we must continue to educate ourselves about the broader impact of digital technology on the psychological, physical and social development of our children.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2015). Care for children and youth with mental disorders. Ottawa, ON: CIHI.
- Boak, A., Hamilton, H.A., Adlaf, E.M., Henderson, J.L. & Mann, R.E. (2018). The mental health and well-being of Ontario students, 1991-2017: Detailed findings from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) (CAMH Research Document Series No. 47). Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
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