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A future of socially impaired misfits: technology's impact on children

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Technology and Children

Present Status and Future Hypothesis’s

By simply glancing at the current influence of technology in children, we can make rational predictions of what the future has in store. Which, in my opinion, isn’t very bright for these younger generations. Richardson explains in her article how technology has altered the way in which children play and interact. Many negative consequences can result from spending too much time on the internet or gaming systems as well. Children are becoming less active due to these technologies, and this is only expected to become worsened in the future (Richardson, 2014).

This conclusion is drawn from the statistical data available regarding past generations that spent more time outside than inside. Patterns can be drawn from data that represents the history of a particular subject, by seeing information from the past on these inferences, we can predict, with a higher degree of accuracy the future of technologies impact on children. However, with moderation, internet use can be highly beneficial to children. But it is when that limit is exceeded, where we find negative consequences (Richardson, 2014).

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Compared to previous generations, technologies engulf society. This is consistent for all age groups and countries throughout the world. These vast improvements and findings have enable many wonderful creations for children especially. Games are created that allow one to experience 3-D and virtual reality. Men, over girls generally associate with these types of activities, however, not in all cases. Girl gamers have increased significantly in number throughout modern times. Addiction to gaming is an actual result of modern day technology. Many children enjoy leaving their realities and hoping online to completely escape. Playing video games is not harmful, rather the basis of these games is what creates the problems. Many games, such as the infamous Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are highly violent and can leave lasting impressions on the young mind of children. There are several studies that have been conducted on aggression and video games. It has been proven that in some cases these games positively correlate to the increase in aggressiveness in young children and teens (Grayson,2015).

Not only do aggressive behaviors form in adolescents who spend too much time in violent fantasy games, but health issues can surface alike. According to Grayson: “Optometrist Gary Heiting warns parents that prolonged gaming play in front of a monitor can also lead to computer vision syndrome, a condition that may cause progressive nearsightedness. Sitting in front of a computer for prolonged periods may create ergonomic problems from poor body positioning, or from the position of the computer and screen. Children also risk developing carpal tunnel syndrome in wrists from repetitive play” (Grayson,2015). This quote shows us how the eyes can be harmed from too much screen exposure; however, this is not the only body part that is harmed from this use.

Obesity is a major problem of modern times. And much of the blame is centered on the lack of physical activity in both children and adults (Life, 2012). However, generations before, as explained by Richardson, use to spend a lot more time outdoors moving around and such. These days, most children prefer to busy themselves with technologies. Whether it be the internet, gaming, or watching movies, children spend more time doing this than ever before. This negatively effects the health of children, because their bodies are not properly burning off calories or becoming strengthened. This is especially dangerous for children who consume unhealthy foods and do not properly exercise. Obesity is the condition of being overweight and can be determined by the national body mass index (BMI) scale (Life,2012).

A study was publicized in the pages of the Journal of Internet Medical Research that posited the several risks involved with internet use. Australian samples of adults were asked about how much time they spend sitting per day, along with their amounts of physical activity. Through these surveys, it was discovered that those spending large amounts of time sitting in front of a computer were nearly 1.5 times more susceptible to being overweight. And some 2.5 times more likely to be obese (Life,2012).

These instances were compared to others who were not engaged in copious amounts of time spent online. An interesting conclusion that was formed during this experiment proved that even those who are heavy users of the internet, and work out vigorously, were still 1.86 times more susceptible to being overweight and obese (Life,2012). Although these were the results of adults, we can clearly see a resemblance when examining children and teenagers alike.

In an investigation that examined both male and female first year students attending the University of Hong Kong, it was discovered that substantial Internet usage led to improper health and hygiene alike. Refusal to eat healthy, work out, or have sufficient cleanliness followed those with increased internet usage. Although, those who utilized the world wide web the most frequently, were highly susceptible to health issues, they were the least likely to seek medical attention. This study also showed how these users were less social, had few friends, and little background in dating (Life,2012).

To further understand these issues, a following study was concluded in a different geographical location, the country of Qatar. Children were asked detailed questions about their internet usage, from which researchers drew conclusions. This study revealed that nearly 2% of the sample spent three hours or more daily in front of a computer. The three hours or more directly correlated to obesity and being overweight in general (Life,2012).

In this country, teens aged 15-18 comprised of the highest degree of these instances. This article explained the dire need for education on such issues. This is due to the fact that these children and young adults will more than likely continue these unhealthy patters throughout adulthood. Although, the negative effects are not always physically felt during our youth, they will eventually surface within given time. Being overweight or obese can cause several other concurrent health issues as well (Life,2012).

The NIH included several health issues that can conclude from being overweight. These included: high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, various forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, and kidney disease. Each of these corresponding health risks can be difficult to treat and the damage is hard to reverse in times (NIH,2017). The future does not look very hopeful for children stuck in the cycle of high internet use. And since technologies will only increase within the future, it is easily concluded that these situations will only get worse and worse. Many implementations and restrictions are needed to end this downward spiral. The internet is a wonderful creation, but too much of it is harmful to many aspects of life. Whether the harm is manifested in the persons physical health or mental health, each are very detrimental to the lives of young people.

Thus far, we have examined the negative effects high internet usage has on children regarding violence and physical health. However, there are many more inferences to be included in this analyzation as well. Social skills are also hindered through too much time spent online. According to Grayson: “ Too much time in front of the computer playing games reduces the time kids spend engaging in outside activities, participating in hobbies, playing with friends and using their imaginations. Computer games, even interactive gaming, fail to give children the experience of social interaction with others. Gaming fills a need for activity, but play that involves personal interaction with other children and adults helps children develop physically and mentally, and also allows kids to evolve and use appropriate social skills in different real-life situations” (Grayson,2015). As we can conclude from the corresponding quote above, social skills are severely limited when a child is consistently playing games of surfing the web. I feel that the blame, in situations such as these, is directly in the hands of the parents. Learning and growing are major goals in early childhood, however, cannot be fully fulfilled when so much time is spent in digital realms rather than reality.

The widespread growth of these technologies is nothing less than astonishing. It is no surprise that children want to be engulfed with this fascinating luxury, however, limitations must occur to enhance safety. Although, I analyzed several negative connotations of internet use, there are also many positive aspects that conclude as well. Given the right gaming structures, children can significantly increase their knowledge and development alike. Since computers are not going anywhere, children must be well-acquainted with its features. This will help when the child begins computer classes in school, because they will be familiar with usability. The idea that school may become completely computerized in the near future was a reoccurring theme presented in some of these articles. This already takes place for many home-schooled children. The future is not able to be predicted, however, there is a high probability that home schooling will overtake traditional schools (Richardson, 2014).

History helps us mark progress in present times. We can easily look upon the history of computers and the internet throughout the years. These inferences also help us conclude what the future has instore. With the current patterns of internet usage, we can see a negative forecast for the future generations. In a sense, it is almost frightening to think of how much more the internet and technologies will enhance in the distant future. Whether we like to think of such situations, or not, they are inevitable. Which means that we either must adapt to such abrupt changes, or continue the allowance of negative consequences.

The internet use and technology use on their own are not bad, however, the improper usage of them are. In this essay, I examined several negative consequences of such, however, failed to discuss issues of monitoring on children. Which is a severe issue that is seen in today’s times. Children have complete access to search and discover many adult themed contents. This leads to many issues as well. Being exposed to such accessibility, children will more than likely override this privilege. Whether children listen to provocative music, stumble upon porn, or read articles that just aren’t meant for their age group, children will mature too quickly. We see these ideas flooding modern times at a fast pace.

Children want to grow up fast and do not realize the consequences of such. Young girls are using make-up at young ages, and also becoming promiscuous. I feel that the internet can be somewhat to blame for these occurrences. If restrictions and moderation are not enforced by parents, these patters will never change. The present scheme of internet use is flawed in many households. Without the proper alterations, these instances will become more of a problem in the future.

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