The technology that we are witnessing in today’s modern world has since been normalized. We are considered to be in the digital age of human civilization. This is also known as the Age of Information.
It is an era where information can be readily accessed and transferred and has been pushed forward with the help of computers and the internet. By now, everyone has the potential to get their hands on a piece of electronic equipment that can access thousands of pieces of information through the internet.
This is not an overstatement. There are over 4.66 billion active internet users all over the world. This is more than half of the world’s population.
And while most of these users are adults with a full understanding of the benefits and risks of being online, our kids may not truly understand what they may be using.
With that, it is fair to question how the accessibility and prevalence of information affect how our children grow and develop. Can the age of information be bad for them? Or is it an advantage?
First, let us look at how children who are still developing in this current era are affected by the vast amount of technology available.
One well-documented effect of technology on everyone, not just children, is the way it has reduced our attention span. A study has found out that the collective attention span is narrowing in recent years. And that this effect leaks onto other items of our lives that need our attention, such as books and movies.
This has been attributed to the fact that everything on the internet is so accessible and fast-paced that every piece of information is competing for your attention. Multiple forms of media are being broadcast through different methods, and we simply cannot keep up with everything.
If you are not careful, your children may suffer the consequences that this era has brought upon us. It may be more detrimental to your children who are still yet to develop their full brain functions.
Child safety can also be an issue in this digital age. Although the internet is a good source of useful content and information, it is also a place for plenty of inappropriate content that your kids may stumble upon.
Apart from that, predators and scammers also exist on the internet. These people may be out to exploit your children’s lack of knowledge of the internet’s environment.
Lastly, uncontrolled internet usage may mean lesser overall well-being for your kids. This means that the internet may have several negative effects on your child’s physical and mental health.
For one, internet addiction may cause people to eat and exercise less. It can even affect their sleeping habits. This can be harmful to your kids’ developing bodies and minds. Furthermore, usage of social media, which is essentially a function of the internet, has been linked to several mental issues such as anxiety and depression.
These are only a few of the effects that have rooted from being raised in the digital age. And while it may be alarming for parents, they are not entirely defenseless when it comes to mitigating these possible effects.
What Can Parents Do?
With that, parents need to control, if not restrict, their kids from being on the internet unless when needed. This can pose a dilemma for parents since the internet, though it may be harmful to our attention span, is a good source of educational content.
For this reason, parents need to regulate their children’s habits concerning internet usage and create a schedule for when they can access it. If parents are thinking about giving their kids a phone for emergency purposes, they may give them phones that have limited access to the internet but has the basic functions for communication.
Aside from that, gadgets and electronic devices are now widely used for their schooling. This means they may computers and phones for educational purposes. If this is the case for your children, make sure to have computers that are easy to use or have a custom mini PC so your children can use them better.
When having computers for your children, never forget to install antivirus software and parental control software for their protection.
Being a child during a period when everything is accessible at the tip of your fingers can be challenging. But with the right precautions set by parents, and creating regulations for internet use, this can be a time of innovation. A time when our kids can reap the benefits of the digital age.