Introducing technology to children at an early age may cause children to develop internet addiction. Internet addiction, defined as net compulsions such as online gaming and shopping, is increasingly prevalent, affecting many and their quality of life (Lee & Morgan, 2018). This is supported by a recent report showing children living in the United States are spending at least 3 times more on their mobile devices now as compared to a similar finding in 2013 (Howard, 2017). Without proper guidance and supervision, internet addiction could result in sleep deprivation, lack of self-control on devices and affecting ones social skills.
First, children with excessive screen time at bedtime instil sleep deficiency quicker compared to those who do not (Mobile devices keep children from sleeping well: Study, 2016). Sleep deficiency has a great impact on how children can understand the concepts taught in class. A childs mind is utilised to store memories and data they intake each day during their learning procedure. Lack of sleep causes their brain to work harder to facilitate memory and concentrating during lessons as children will be more fatigued and lethargic to absorb when sleep deprivation occurs (Weale, 2017).
Lack of self-control on their devices
Second, introduction of technology has affected some childrens attentiveness and performance in learning. These devices are platforms for the public to interact with diverse communities worldwide and immersing themselves in mobile game applications. When children become pre-occupied with their gadgets, it causes a delay in their motor skills. A 2015 report by the Early Childhood Education Journal, local children are attached to their gizmos at least more than one hour a day. Being hooked on to devices can result in developmental delay which influences the childrens ability to acquire and retain information at a slower pace (Ng, 2017).
Hinder Social Skills
Third, addiction to technology can stunt human interactions. When children are dependent on their smart devices regularly, they might feel more socially awkward among people during face-to-face interaction (Dunckley, 2016). Children may have problems voicing out their thoughts and stuttering when they are speaking. International Conference of Early Childhood Education revealed that under the influential usage of the gadget can reduce a childs lack of interaction within its surroundings (Suhana, 2017). When childrens social skills are absent, they may fear to ask to inquire or clarify their doubts with their teachers due to embarrassment, thus deterring their learning.
In conclusion, the introduction of technology at an early age can lead to addictions that are highly unsafe and dangerous. It is now easy to go online to do many things to chat with family and friends and pick up new hobbies. However, if overindulge or engage excessively in online activities, it can affect other aspects of our daily lives. Therefore, it is important for proper guidance to our young so that they become responsible digital learners and citizens.
Dunckley, M. (2016). Screen time and Arrested Social Development.
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Retrieved from G., Morgan, H. (2018). Understanding Childrens Attraction Towards Digital Games and Preventing Their Gaming Addiction. US-China Education Review A, 8(1), 11-17. doi: 10.17265/2161-623X/2018.01.002
Mobile devices keep children from sleeping well: Study. (2016). The Straits Times [Singapore]
Retrieved from W. (2017). Dangers of too much screen time. The Straits Times [Singapore].Retrieved from Mildayani. (2017). Influence of Gadget Usage on Childrens Social-Emotional. S. (2017). Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPS told. [United Kingdom]