Children and Technology

Table of Content

Why go outside and play football when you can just play fantasy football from the comfort of your sofa? This is a question that children can ask themselves in our tech-forward world. Technology is evolving constantly and at ridiculous speeds. Children are forced to grow up in a tech-savvy world with both negative and positive effects. Technology can be addicting when used improperly and without limitation. Children can use their devices in place of real human relationships, hindering their social skills. The overuse of technology can lead to a life of sleep depravity and obesity. Parents should limit their children’s screen time to prevent addiction to their devices, to enhance their social skills, and to start healthy technology habits.

Introducing children to technology at a young age can lead them to a lifetime of addiction and to dependence on their devices. Smartphones have countless activities that children can use instead of playing outside or reading a book. One of the biggest names in tech, Steve Jobs says that he does not let his own kids use iPads or iPhones. The maker of one of the biggest technology companies in the world knows the capability of technology and how addicting it can be (Bilton). He considers himself a low-tech parent and so do many other technology chief executives. They limit their children’s screen time and prohibit using recreational technology on school nights. Chris Anderson, the chief executive of 3D Robotics has said in a New York Times interview that, “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascist and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” and he continued with, “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I‘ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.” The dangers that Anderson worries about include exposure to content like pornography, cyberbullying, and most importantly addiction to their devices.

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Not only the big names in the tech industry are limiting their children’s screen time. Many families that live in Silicon Valley also emphasize the importance of being tech-free. Former social computing researcher Kristin Stecher, married to a Facebook engineer says that “Doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little”. She continues by saying that her kids want more and more screen time if they get any at all (Bowles). She allows her kids to use technology on long car rides and on planes but they substitute device time with family movies and other family-involved activities.

Just by looking around, it is obvious that technology has replaced human interaction. The technology was invented to aid in communication but in reality, it is hindering our social skills. Children are now using social media to communicate with their friends instead of having face to face interactions. Technology can help those with social anxiety but there is nothing in this world that replaces a person to person interaction. Kids are growing up in a world that is “plugged-in” and it is causing them to become more and more detached from reality. A 2014 study called, “The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices” observed 100 couples having 10-minute conservations (Misra, Shalini, et al.). Some couples were left with their phones in their hands and others have no phone present during the conversation. Those without their devices present showed greater interest in their significant other and had more meaningful conversations. Those with phones used their phones to elude awkward pauses.

Technology not only can cause addiction and hinder a child’s social skills but it can also hinder a child’s development. Technologies effect on children is most apparent in the way children play and interact with their surroundings when compared to previous generations. Technology does have positive benefits for learning but there are more disadvantages that outweigh them. A noticeable change in the way that children live today is the lack of exercise. Computers, smartphones, video games, and television promotes a sedentary lifestyle both at home and at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics claims that the average child spends about 7 hours a day using some form of technology. At the end of the day, parents have the choice in how much time their child spends using technology. Economic status may affect their ability to enforce these due to time constraints made from working. Even though parents have the authority to restrict technology usage, parents should lead by example and show them that there are plenty of activities to do outside of video games and watching television. Taken from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the blue light that is emitted from our devices causes eye-strain and can affect our body’s circadian rhythm or our sleep and wake cycle. Blue light causes us to be more awake and stimulates us, therefore, making it harder for our bodies to go to sleep when using technology before bedtime. Disrupted sleep cycles in children can lead to a lifetime of sleep depravity causing a decrease in productiveness and a lower quality of life.

The world of technology is advancing very rapidly and our lives are becoming more and more technology reliant. The Children of today are growing up in a completely different world that of those from previous generations. Technology is incorporated into their everyday lives and the cons outweigh the benefits. Introducing children to technology at a young age can lead to a life of addiction and a reliance on their devices. The excessive use of technology can curb a child’s social skills by allowing them to use their devices to communicate instead of having face-to-face conversations. Technology can also curb a child’s development leading them to a life of sleep depravity and obesity. Limiting a child’s usage of technology is a great way to promote a healthy and successful lifestyle and it can only be achieved by parents taking the initiative to do so.

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Children and Technology. (2022, Jun 07). Retrieved from

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