The technological advancements of today are often shown in a bad light when it comes to raising a child. There are news reports everywhere about how technology is so bad for kids growing up in this generation. The Huffington Post writes an article involving 10 reasons why children under the age of 12 should not have access to handheld devices.
But no one ever really acknowledges the positive affects that technology can have on children growth. In fact, many of the points made in other news stories and blog posts contradict the reasons that The Huffington Post gives for banning technology for children.
“Exposure to technology isn’t all bad. Research shows that, for example, video games and other screen media improve visual-spatial capabilities, increase attentional ability, reaction times, and the capacity to identify details among clutter.” – Jim Taylor Ph.D.
Jim Taylor explains that, while there are some negative effects to the technology exposure that young kids endure, there are also many positive effects that our society overlooks. Taylor emphasizes that children who grow up exposed to technology simply learn differently than those who aren’t exposed to it as much.
Some of the most successful people in the world are driven by technology. Bill Gates, for example, is the richest man in the world simply because of his invention of a program for computers. Without technology, Gates wouldn’t have the success that he has today. The advancements in technology are helping engineers become more successful at their jobs. I see it at my University, these students are so technologically advanced because of the world that they grew up in that it’s making their school work easier. They have a better sense of how technology operates than students did 20 years ago, making them more successful.
Technology, but even more specifically social media, is the main focus of the current generation. But for some reason, that focus is viewed by older generations as negative. No one really ever took the time to analyze what social media really is. Serena Gordon, a journalists for U.S. News, talked to Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe about social media and it’s impact on children.
“Social media sites are mostly good. They’re where kids socialize and where they connect together today. Kids’ social spaces are shrinking. They don’t have the places or the time to hang out like their parents did. Social media allows them to have time to reconnect. But, it has to be done in a way that’s not all-encompassing.” – Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe, CEO and editor-in-chief of Pediatrics Now
Most older generations don’t understand that social media isn’t bad for children as long as parent monitor their child’s use.
“Just like most people wouldn’t let kids cook in the kitchen or drive a car without first teaching them, kids need to know how Facebook works and how to be on it appropriately. Don’t assume that your kid knows all these things.” – Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe
It’s no secret that there are many problems that arise with children in the technological world that we live in, some involving social media. But we as a society need to realize the benefits that technology and social media can have on our children and their developmental health and focus on those. When we, as the older, influential generation of young kids, realize the benefits and focus those benefits of technology onto our children’s lives we will drive the negative stereotype of technology away, letting technology server its purpose to positively impact lives and aid in educating young children.