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Positive and Negative Effects of Technology on Children

Is Technology Bad?

Szerző: Fürkész Firkász. Dátum: 2023. szeptember 22. Forrás: MentalUP

Is technology bad for kids or not? It's clear that the case of unconscious use of technology can cause children to face its negative effects. Let’s look into the positive effects of technology on child development that you can benefit from and the negative effects of technology on children's health and development that you should avoid.

Nine  Positive Effects of Technology

1. Mental Skill Development with Educational Contents

The positive effects of the Internet on early childhood education can be very beneficial. Educational and instructional practices, such as apps that offer brain games for kids to improve cognitive skills, are among these benefits. There are several educational games for kids like memory games, attention games, and math games. Therefore, safe Internet use for children can be useful with the right apps, allowing them to enjoy while supporting their development and academic success.

2. Increase in IQ

According to an American study, conducted on approximately 9,000 students, the IQ scores of the current generation are higher than the previous generation. Experts link this effect directly to technology. The increase in the number of technological products in children's lives and, consequently, the increased stimuli serve as exercises to enable children to solve more complex problems. Of course, all these benefits are possible with the conscious use of technology. On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that an excess of stimuli leads to distraction. 

3. Learning Enhancement

Effects of gadgets and the Internet on learning are great examples of positive effects of the Internet on students.“Learning how to learn” is a very important skill. Thanks to the Internet, there is a library with an infinite number of books in every house. Children can do extensive research on the subjects they wonder about. In this way, they are learning to access information, do research, and learn, and safe Internet use for children comes with many benefits.

4. Problem-Solving Skills

Visual design programs, technical drawing programs, coding programs, and similar design tools improve children's creativity. So it's not a matter of good or bad - it’s all about how, when, and what you use.

Creative children are successful in adapting to the changing world. Likewise, they are successful in creating new solutions to new emerging problems. Enhancing problem-solving skills in childhood will allow them to overcome obstacles easier in the future.

5. Parental Control in Emergency Situations

The positive impact of technology on kids can sometimes be a lifesaver for a child. A child should be able to reach their parents in case of an emergency, even if they are not old enough to use a mobile phone. Simple mobile devices like smartwatches are produced to meet this need in a healthy way.

6. Easy Access to Information

All the children are curious at an early age and they always want to be acquainted with the outer world. In this sense, the world wide web can help them to understand what they want to learn. Because the parents can’t answer all the questions their kids ask, children can search for all the things they are curious about and expand their perspectives. One of the most important positive effects of the Internet on a child is access to information easily.

7. Foreign Language Learning

As far as the children are concerned, lots of parents want them to learn a foreign language that helps kids to fit in the modern world. Thanks to technological improvements, today it is easier to access resources. Kids can learn a foreign language quickly by using online tools, fun games, and exercises without being bored. You can provide them with the right sources and develop their language skills. Some of the positive points of the Internet are that children can start learning a foreign language online with just a little cost. Apps that are tailored for this purpose are one of the best examples of it.

8. Critical Thinking Development

Thanks to online interactive games and mental exercises, modern children start to develop critical thinking skills earlier. These educational games and exercises help kids to grow intellectually by boosting their strategic thinking skills. Because these online games and exercises appeal to all the kids who have different interests, they can have fun while improving at the same time. This is one of the most crucial positive effects of the Internet due to the fact that it helps kids’ grades at school.

9. Entertainment

Technology is a huge entertainment universe for both children and adults, when it is used as a safe tool, kids can benefit from fun video games, puzzles, riddles  and other things to spend their leisure time. Now let’s look at these negative effects that you need to be aware of.

Nine Negative Effects of Technology

We’ve talked about the wonders technology can provide, so now it’s time to discuss the negative effects of the Internet on children caused by misuse. The overuse of technology and unsupervised access to the Internet may cause many negative effects on children's social skills, as well as their mental and physical development.

1. Lower Attention Span

Spending too much time using the most common technological devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets can cause distraction and concentration difficulties. One of the negative effects of technology on children is that it may affect their academic success. As we mentioned at the very beginning, the reason for such problems is the extreme (unconscious) use of technology, not the technology itself. Misuse of technology can cause a lack of focus, short attention span, and learning disabilities in children. 

2. Minimized Social Interaction

Negative effects of the Internet on a child's social skills usually appear when the child plays too many games on a computer because they become disconnected from real life. The child, who doesn’t communicate, interact and share with his/her environment, will try to meet all these needs in a virtual environment. For example, children can see the level they have achieved in a game as a respectability element. These titles, which have no importance in real life, should be replaced by skills such as respect, love, sharing, and communication.

3. Increased Aggression

Children are more vulnerable to the content they come across, and can be exposed to frightening elements in videos, cartoons, or games they watch and play. Children who are not capable of perceiving the difference between the real and the imaginary can experience unfavorable situations such as fear of being alone, nightmares, and not being able to go to the toilet alone. Similarly, when they consume videos or games containing elements of violence, they can turn into angry children. 

4. Health Problems

The negative impacts of technology on children are not only limited to emotional and mental disorders. The subject also has a physical dimension. The following disadvantages of technology in child development may occur due to watching TV for a long time, using a computer or a tablet in the wrong sitting position, etc.:

We can also say that the physical development of a child who is immobilized through the use of technological devices, reduces the time that should be allocated to activities that support muscle development, such as walking, running, jumping, and playing physical games.

4. Reduced Sleep Quality

The harmful effects of technology on children's health are not limited to the above-mentioned effects. Children can suffer from sleeping disorders. The risk of developing an addiction is especially common among children. Having the right measures of Internet will prevent both lack of sleep (which has a tremendous negative effect on school, work, and all kinds of daily life routines), and developing a gaming addiction disorder.

5. Cyberbullying, Abuse and Security Risks

We have often talked about “overuse“. There are some hidden threats among the negative effects of technology on children that are not related to overuse. For example, Cyberbullying! Considering that the technologies that children are interested in can usually be linked to the Internet, we need to be aware of the external threats. In games and apps with online communication preferences, children can be exposed to bullying. They can be abused by malicious adults. Again, malicious adults can obtain personal information about the child or his family. 

6. Depression Risk

We know that there are bad aspects of the Internet other than the positive effects of technology on teenagers and children. One of the most common is depression risk. Because of technological improvements, unfortunately, children start to be less social and use social media more. If the necessary precautions aren’t taken, they can easily feel depressed and alone. The more they turn in on themselves, the more depression risk is surfaced. 

7. Obesity

Unless children use online sources in an appropriate way, they tend to be less active. When the time of staying still is increased, they come up against the obesity problem that lots of kids get into trouble with.

Obesity risk is one of the most important negative effects of the Internet on a child. Don’t forget the obesity problem is defined as a modern world disorder!

8. Lower Grades

We are all aware of the positive effects of the Internet on students but technological tools such as computers, tablets, or smartphones are used in an effective way, they can cause children to have lower grades in school. As we’ve mentioned before, when kids start to spend more time on screens, their attention span is decreased, they can feel depressed; hence, their success can be declined. Remember that increasing technology usage means the time spent on homework is diminished.

9. Emotional problems

When the kids start to spend more time online, they are at risk of having emotional and behavioral problems.

The overuse of technology can cause a delay in the emotional skills of your children. When you see it, even if you want to interfere, they can be aggressive or in a total shut-down. In these kinds of situations, you should get help from professionals.