It is sad to say we live in a digital age where most kids have made their digital footprint at the tender age of two. Children that have been growing up during this technology age have been exposed to screens since before they are mentally developed and it’s harming our children. Technology, as amazing as it’s been, has been destroying family units over the years. Instead of interacting with each other, most are often stuck behind their devices completely disconnected from the world around them.
Kids innocence is being taken away from them by technology. Two-year-olds aren’t supposed to say, “mom I want iPad,” which I heard a two-year-old ask his mom on a train ride to New York. Toddlers should be playing with actual physical toys that enhance their senses and be playing with other toddlers their age. Schools are incorporating technology and I’ve read that elementary schools have devices for kids to learn on. That is a scary thought. Technology has the ability to give us power and connection, but if misused technology destroys connection and can hurt key developmental stages in children. Technology these days has overtaken family life. It’s time for parents to have a basket where all devices get turned off and placed in before sitting down to a family dinner. It’s time for parents to say, “only two hours on devices per day,” when the average child is on for six hours a day. Six hours. Those hours could be spent outdoors, exploring the world around them, learning about new animals and flowers in their yard. Outdoors they could be playing sports with each other, riding bikes, going on playgrounds meeting peers.
Technology can also be dangerous for kids. They are young, impressionable, and susceptible to addiction. Did you know that the average ages a kid is exposed to pornography are between nine and twelve? Those kids’ innocence can be stolen from them with just one click. Those are very formative years, and pornography, or any other internet related addiction, including hours of gaming, can hinder that development, leading to issues focusing in school, and can make kids desensitized to rewards. If there is instant gratification, why work for something? Technology has its place, but parents need to put restraints and time limits to ensure kids get to have a real childhood where they are able to interact with their peers. This generation and the following to come, have such poor social skills due to the disconnection technology has created, and social interaction is essential to human beings.
Parents, let your children have their childhood by limiting the amount of time your kid sits behind a screen. Encourage them to go outside, arrange playdates, take them to the park. Don’t give your toddler an iPad just because it keeps them occupied, it can hurt them in the long run. Scientists have been doing research, and are only starting to see the harmful effects of kids being exposed to devices at such a young age. Technology is an amazing tool if used correctly, and as adults, we have the responsibility to teach our children to use technology safely and wisely. As stated in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” So, let’s be responsible and teach our kids to enjoy an interactive childhood with peers and their surrounding environment instead of interacting and bonding with a screen.