Technology is the greatest invention since the printing press. Indeed,nothing else has so radically shaped culture, media, commerce, entertainment, and communication the way technology has.
We have gradually walked away from the old methods to new ones where wefind ourselves engaged politically, sociallyand entertained by Gadgets and not humans anymore. It’s like nowadays everyone has an iPad, laptop or the best phones on market not forgetting the feature phones (they too have games).
The Digital era now influences almost every aspect of our lives and this does not only apply to adults; – the children too are affected.
The way technological advancements affect children in particular can sometimes be positive or negative. Sometimes it can help with learning numbers and letters especially using games and applications. However, all this needs guidance, without which, adverse effects could set in.
But what could be getting your child so much on the other side; – away from people and into devices, games and technology?
This is a delicate concern standing between the future and the ‘future’ of your child and it’s imperative that a parent keeps an open mind if they are to makeproper decisions on this.How much time your child needs to spend whiletoying with the appsvis a vis human interaction.
Dr. Susan Greenfield, a professor at Greenford University, asserts that the time spent interacting with the techs determines how each individual is affected.
“Using your phone or tab for about ten to twenty minutes a day would be maximum recommended and using these gadgets in place of all other ways of learning, working and interaction possesses a problem.” She says.
“We are already in an era where communicating and engaging with people is already limited.Everybody is communicating with texting and emailing.”
“So, we have to be remindful that when we were growing up, as parents we were talking to each other and playing with each other. And you would want to be able to provide those opportunities for your children.” she added.
For example, when children are playing a game, and watching Tv, they are not playing with the each other and chances are they are not learning the common social skills. Can’t this explain how our children are behaving before we rush to blame the maids or schools?
If you have come across a child who never socializes and can’t sustain a conversation for a few minutes, lacks concentration with poorly developed emotional intelligence, then you probably have an idea of what I mean. (Do not mistake these for those suffering from medically diagonosed conditions)
Everything that your child learns is through experience and this comes by doing things and playing with their friends as well as observation.Now when your children see you on phone all day, or laptop after work, they will probably think that’s the way it’s done these days.
So, you need to remember that what you do, impacts your child development as well.
The impact that these gadgets/toys have on your child can be significant because for a long time, it’s a lot of input. It’s becomes a lot of visual stimulation and you might find that they are not able to attend to people. Reason, they are so used to interacting with the screens other than a normal human being.
Providing your child an opportunity to use an iPad may not be detrimental but you can have them play a game for ten to twenty minutes a day at whatever time it maybe.
For example; if you introduce a computer to a child in class without proper guidance and control, chances are that child will always associate that computer with class and may never be able to study or talk to you about his/her learning experiences or challenges they are facing.
Instead, they will just assume that they are sitting in a classroom and are having that computer to play or toy with the applications without need for interaction with a normal human being.
Therefore, it is always important for parents to always remember how much computer, tab or phone is for themselves and their children. To keep everything bound to its time as you encourage them to connect and engage with you and their friends as well as the play tech-toys.
Remember these opportunities are vital for your child to learn and grow because they learn through experience and playing with their friends not exclusively with media and technology.
I do not mean to say that children should not use gadgets; instead parents should just be smart about their usage. Teach children the benefits of other activities, like taking care of health, education and relationships, and more importantly, take a look at the relationship you have with your kids.
Are your children expressing themselves freely in your presence or are they so much into themselves? Often children find their refugee into tech-toys, the video game world, because their parents don’t listen to them when they need it, or there’s a lot of household conflict.
They maybe isolating because everything else makes them suffer and the gadgets just don’t. This always happens when parents fail to attach importance to that social interaction with their children and let the tech take control.
Before we get too busy to think about what could become of our children tomorrow, let’s understand that learning and other hobbies are fun too. Else, we may end up groom living robots in disguise of children.
At the end of the day, there is a lot our children are exposed to as we give them away to the unforgiving digital world.