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Technology Affects Children

Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado 

Over the past few decades, technology has completely changed every aspect of our society, beginning from how we work to how we socialize and everything else in between. Technology has helped mankind with many advancements and comforts, but it also presents with some adverse consequences for our children.

Technology does have many benefits for learning, but it can also have many negative effects in the development of a child. A couple of decades ago, children used to play outside all day long, riding bicycles, playing sports, and socializing with other children. They were masters of their own imaginary games. Nowadays, children as young as 2 years can be seen watching a cartoon or playing with a cell phone.

The big difference in the way that children live today is that they do not get enough exercise. Devices like computers, smart phones, and television encourages them to be sedentary instead of going outside and playing with other kids. Besides not getting enough exercise, many kids do not experience the benefits of spending time outdoors as they are heavily reliant on technology for entertainment purposes. Spending time outside has a lot of positive effects on the body - it provides exposure to sunlight which supplies the body with vitamin D, which helps fight infections and keep the skin healthy. New research has shown that screens from tablets and smart phones emit harmful blue light that can cause headache, eye strain and irritated eyes in children.

Moreover, a child who excessively uses devices may become isolated and fail to develop normal communication skills such as starting conversations, listening, or making eye contact. Not only can it have a negative impact on development of social skills, it can also affect a child’s mental health. Studies have shown that children who use the internet regularly and play video games exhibit more anxiety and depression.

It is important to come together and help society take notice of the devastating effects technology is having on our children, not only on their physical, psychological, and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and maintain personal and family relationships. It is also important to encourage kids in exercise, spend time outdoors, or socialize with friends in real life instead of online. If children are shown more support for these beneficial activities than the use of technology, they will be more comfortable making outdoor activities a part of their daily routine.

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