Technology: Does it deserve our attention?

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Does television, cell phones and internet usage have an impact on the lives of our children? See what our experts are saying about technology and our kids!

 

By Brittany Dyer

Growing up, our generation did not have cell phones and internet readily available and television usage was much less than it is today. We played outside, called our friends from home and passed notes at school. We created games, made up languages and colored crazy shapes. We ran, jumped, climbed trees and played at the park. We completed chores, had consequences and told our parents where we were going. We ate dinner together, talked about our day and argued face to face. Is the world changing because of technology? Are our core values slipping away because of the one on one gap created by technology?

It seems now that more kids are sitting in front of the television and are not getting up moving around. The obesity rate is higher than it has ever been for youngsters. I cannot help but think that technology has played into this correlation. Youth today are more isolated and lack the ability to properly communicate with their peers and others. Honestly, children are even neglected because their parents are too caught up in their own smartphones to pay attention to what their children are doing. Children are overstimulated because of the amount of internet and technology they consume on a daily basis.

A sedentary lifestyle and over-stimulation have many effects on children. Over-stimulation is related to developmental delays due to not stimulating the brain in appropriate ways and by stimulating it too much. Kids, who are overstimulated, can also develop mental health issues, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They can also become overweight from a sedentary lifestyle of sitting in front of an iPad or iPhone for extended periods of time. Health issues may also arise from increased use of internet and technology. Diabetes in little ones have also increased since technology now plays a much bigger role in our society. Without getting up and moving around and without knowing how much food is being consumed at one time while eating when watching television or playing a video game can lead to severe health problems such as diabetes. Also, the risk of stroke becomes more prevalent with a sedentary lifestyle. Maybe not in the young one’s immediate future but if the child grows up continuing to live a sedentary lifestyle, it will be harder for him to break these habits as he gets older.

Youngsters can also develop addictions to cell phone or technology use, which can also lead to harsher forms of addiction, such as pornography in their future. This concept is true for both males and females.

Prolonged internet and technology uses have long term effects. One of which is a shortened lifespan because of all the health issues that correspond to a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of relationships also have an increased possibility if children grow up not learning how to interact with others because they have only learned how to interact with their television or computer. Poor relationships skills may inhibit someone from obtaining a job as well. There are many risk factors to consider when determining if your child spends too much time playing on a cell phone or computer.

Ultimately, extensive internet and technology usage is unsustainable, not only for your children, but for society as a whole.

Please consider the effects of television and technology uses have on your children.

Let’s consider what might be more sustainable. What produces a child to develop and learn appropriately? How do we help them become strong, secure and keep them from becoming overstimulated? How do we teach them to appropriately interact with others? What should we focus on to help them be well regulated human beings?

Allow them to move and understand their body. Grant them the ability to explore and touch things. Encourage opportunities to connect with other children. Let them get out in nature and explore their surroundings. There are so many fun things to do an explore outside of technology.

Detaching from technology is not as hard as it seems and can also truly benefit your children both now and later in life!

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