It’s a well-known fact that childhood has completely changed over the last few years. Even though technology changed everyone’s life, the effect is mostly visible on today’s children. They learn how to use tech devices before they even learn how to walk or talk!
How has technology changed childhood?Playing
Before technology, children loved to hang out with their friends outside and play football, hide and seek, or other outdoor games. With technology advancement and growth of the Internet, there’s been a drastic decrease in outdoor activities. Nowadays, most children prefer to stay indoors and play games on their computers instead of going outside and play with their friends.
Unfortunately, not every online game is kid-friendly. Many children from around the world took part in violent challenges such as Momo and Blue Whale. In these challenges, children were supposed to harm themselves and even had to send proof. The final challenge was to commit suicide. These Internet challenges are very dangerous to children as they may cause permanent physical disability along with privacy violation.
Previously, kids were happy playing with their dolls and toy cars. However, as technology advances they are no longer interested in regular toys. In fact, they want to play with smart toys which are operated by artificial intelligence. Children are also becoming more tech-friendly but lonely at the same time because they prefer to play games with virtual players instead of playing with their real friends.Learning
When we were kids, the most common learning method was by the book. However, that has completely changed with the advance of technology. Nowadays, children are searching online in order to better understand the subjects they are studying. I guess it’s more fun to watch animated videos of lectures instead of reading boring books.
Learning online had a huge impact on the way children learn school subjects such as Mathematics, History, Science, etc. Thanks to technology, learning is a far more enjoyable experience than it used to be in the past.
However, it’s not all fun and games. There is also a negative side to technology as well. For instance, if children are left unmonitored, some of them may end up on sketchy websites where they can easily become victims to child predators. Since there is so much information on the Internet, children can also learn some undesirable skills such as hacking or creating fake profiles. With this kind of skills, children may end up on the wrong side of the law.Creativity
Children used to have incredible creative skill. Unfortunately, that’s all in the past. Kids nowadays don’t really know what true creativity looks like. Instead of building forts out of sofa cushions or drawing art with chalks on sidewalks, they prefer to sit in front of the computer. Instead of turning a cardboard box into a castle or coloring with crayons, they choose technology. As a result, their creativity is limited to things they can only do on screens.Sleep Deprivation
Children struggle with self-control when it comes to technology. Instead of sleeping, many of them choose to play games or watch videos on their smart devices during the night. Who would want to go to sleep when there are more fun things to do? It’s hard for them to go to bed because as soon as they receive a notification from social media they have to check it immediately.
According to statistics, 75% of children under 8 own a smartphone or they have access to one, meaning they don’t get the recommended ten hours of sleep during the night. Also, it’s harder to shut down any devices after being exposed to blue screens for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, lack of sleep also leads to health problems such as weakened immunity, weight gain, etc.Establishing and maintaining relationships
It’s hard for children these days to establish and maintain relationships with their friends, parents, relatives, etc. This is mostly the parent’s fault. Instead of comforting their children during times of distress, parents choose the easy way out and play songs or videos in order to calm and distract their kids. This will result in unhealthy relationships between parents and their children.
It’s also important to point out that instead of talking, they chat on different apps and instead of using words, they use emojis to express their feelings and answer any questions. This lack of communication may lead children to look for someone outside their family to trust and share their feelings with.
Instead of talking to a parent, kids will search for strangers in the virtual world. Keep in mind that some of these individuals don’t usually have the best interests for children and may involve them in undesirable acts. Parents usually find out about these things after their children have already got in trouble.
Although these things will make you think that technology only has a negative impact on children, there are advantages as well. For instance, tech-savvy children can teach their parents and grandparents about the latest technology devices and their use. It’s the parent's obligation to make sure technology has a positive effect on their children by decreasing the time spent with devices and only allowing them to watch high quality content. Also, it’s important for children’s development to interact with other children and family members. These two things will help children to balance their real and virtual life.