The undeniable effects of tech gadgets on kids and teens
Tech gadgets have been growing rapidly for some time now, and is an important part of everyday life impacting on people of all fields and ages.
For the appropriate and healthy growth of your kids/teens, it is expedient for you to have knowledge of both the positive and negative impacts of tech gadgets on them.
With the advancement of modern tech gadgets, they have become part of our life whether at work-place or at home. And with these tech gadgets being exposed to our kids and teens early, the use of it has multiplied.
A recent study found that 75% of kids begin playing with electronic tech gadget devices before they turned three and most of these kids/teens played video and simulation games on the devices; with about half of them agreeing to use the devices to play educational games such as spelling quizzes, while other uses – include surfing the Internet and social media networking.
Tech gadgets are cool and make room for both entertainment and ease of works. However, it still has its two sides to the coin.
In this article, we shall be discussing on these coin sides, i.e. the positive and negative effects of tech gadgets on our kids and teens.
Unable to function without high tech gadgets can be a form of addiction
The kids and teens of these days, can be referred to as the ‘multimedia robot generation’ as they are all excited and hungry for some gadget or another. Our kids/teens end up spending long hours and days if not checked, with gadgets like smart phones, video games, and whatever the trending gadget is.
There may be nothing wrong on the onset but once it becomes an addiction to them whereby they just can’t do without it even at the dining table – then caution has to come in from the adults around, particularly parents.
79% of Kids from between 7 and 19 years of age crave for gadget and are somewhat addicted. You see them investing long hours daily with these devices/gadgets and they will always wish to end whatever else they are engaged with like – school, meal times, etc. to get back and have their fun with the gadgets.
Kids now are experts at sending fantastic SMS with their phone gadgets but can’t get at good communication outside that.
Loss of attention or concentration to their environment and studies
Addicted kids with regards to tech gadgets spend unchecked hours staring at their game or TV screens and end up being denied of good sleep and this could result to lesser attention or concentration on other essentials such as school lessons and studies.
This mode also affects their attitude as they become grumpy, even aggressive and don’t care about anything else going on around their immediate environment – until they are done and exhausted with the gadget at hand. These tech Gadgets are simply destroying their social, personal and creative skills, and also leaving negative impacts on their health and emotions.
This can be effectively controlled by parents and boundaries must be placed to put a check on our kids before it turns sour. Parents should fix time for playing with gadgets.
Physical damage and postural problems due to constant or repetitive use
What about other obvious impacts these tech gadgets’ over usage can cause to our kids and teens? Injuries also occur to these kids using gadgets such as ‘Blackberry thumb’ for the overuse of Blackberry device. These kids and teens suffer injury as a result of stress – in the hand from playing games for very long hours with posture problems resulting in shoulder pain, neck strain and wrists might also be afflicted with inflammations or nerve compression.
Parents can intervene in this matter by helping your kids realize that they need to take breaks even when the gadget at stake is essential. Breaks could be holding out in between different levels of a game and keeping it aside for a while, etc.
This will help to avoid repetitive overuse and it is very important to work with our kids on using these tech gadgets in the healthiest and reliable manner, i.e. with a good posture, and without necks bent over and hands held with stressed rigidity.
The wrong usage of tech gadgets actually starts from a very young age – creating problems to the hands, wrists, and other parts of the body. The earlier the better for parents to lay down rules and model healthy habits for their kids to prevent device over-use and its associated injuries, the better for everyone.
Below are further effects of tech gadgets usage on our kids and teens to think over:
Positive Impacts of tech gadgets on kids:
Tech gadgets have been proven to be useful in education as it helps in accessing the web and getting detailed knowledge about various topical issues; even the educational games help them to perform well in their various academics.
With kids loving to play video games with their friends/relatives, they earn competition skills and technical know-how which invariably goes far in helping them compete with others in the real world.
Negative impacts of tech gadgets on kids:
Kids/teens getting undeniably addicted to gadgets and developing an obsession with the device. They crave for it every minute if parents don’t give it to them and some of these kids may show or display increased agitation if these gadgets were denied them.
Kids/teens become anti-social and become married to the tech gadgets most of their time and such scenario automatically will lead to forming abnormal social relationships and preventing them from having helpful life building activities with their friends. Kids don’t have time to be or sit with their parents and spend quality time with them; rather preferring to connect with friends and buddies through these gadgets – text messaging, chatting etc., and not meeting with them in actual sense – virtual world connection and not real world connection.
Kids/teens become overly exposed to obvious risks such as cyber-bullying, which could lead to serious emotional consequences. These kids could pick up negative habits such as being violent, or face problems in peer group socializing. This ends up impacting on them mentally when they realize they have become recluse and actually have no friends outside their tech gadget world.
Academic benefits and drawbacks by using tech gadgets
Kids/teens school performances are dropping due to excessive tech gadget usage. Kids that are exposed to about nine hours of TV, games, computers and other gadgets daily may be losing the ability to concentrate. It leads to several potential setbacks, including behavioral problems and lower grades amongst pre-school, elementary and high school students. Tech gadgets over-use has its negative impact on academic performance on most of the affected kids/teens as these children waste most of their valuable time on these devices ignoring their books and studies. And of course results in their poor academic performance.
Physical and emotional issues for kids using high tech gadgets
photo credit: Depressed Boy via photopin (license)
With lack of other physical activities because they are tied down with these tech gadgets, these kids tend to get childhood obesity and this has become alarming problem worldwide. Tech gadgets are causing many health issues in kids/teens. These kids – due to increasing use of gadgets, are suffering from the health problems such as back pains, poor eyesight etc. and as discussed earlier due to less physical activities, weight gain is common amongst these kids.
Because of this, these kids have been found turning away from their moral values. The abuse of Internet usage via these gadgets has turned a curse upon their basic norms and character. Imagine a 7 years old kid rather than using the Internet in a productive manner, feeding himself up with adult content and pornography.
And obviously, these tech gadgets have wrong impact of how these kids/teens write. This is because of the style of text messaging and chatting involved as no one cares more about spellings, punctuations, and grammar. They write with what’s trending, e.g. LOL’s, LMAO’s, etc. This has resulted to poor writing skills of these little ones.
Parents who don’t show concern today over this issue, will end up regretting allowing the over usage and abuse of these gadgets for their children. Moderation is simply the key and answer to bringing sanity to the usage of these gadgets as it may not be totally avoidable or refrained from these kids.
We cannot say that there are more negative impacts than positive as it depends on how it is being used. While a school of thought says that limiting the involvement of technology in a kids life, will bring an end to all negative impacts; another school of thought disagrees stating that denial may prevent them from learning new things and exploring the world for more knowledge or studies.
In conclusion, we know that these tech gadgets are vital today for the education of kids/teens, and also serves as a medium of communication and entertainment. Utmost care and concern must be taken by parents to lecture their kids on best practices on the use of these gadgets/devices and while opinions may differ, we would like to hear your candid opinion with regards to this subject matter. Please leave your comments in the comment box below.
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