Effects of Technology on Students

15 July 2022
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Technology has undoubtedly had the biggest effect on our lives since the 2000s. From sending the first email to now video calling our loved ones whenever we want, from having to buy DVDs to watch a film, to streaming old favorites on Netflix, the internet has intercepted into every aspect of our lives. As adults too, we cannot think of a time before the internet. We use it to call our cabs, order groceries, pay our bills, and so much more. This dependence is much more exacerbated when we see it through the eyes of the younger generation, as they are exposed to technology from a young and impressionable age. Watching cartoons, playing games, watching educational content, and recently having to undergo two years of online schooling due to COVID, their dependence on the internet has increased with the years.

It is not that technology is all that bad. Through technology, children from a young age are exposed to much more educational and learning content than even schools don’t have the bandwidth to cover. They get equipped with skills and new educational content that we, as adults, sometimes get baffled with. Young children know more about coding, the internet, and online networking than they ever did at a young age. However, it is not all that sunny. From addiction to eating disorders, to online bullying and harassment, the internet is also infested with tech-related dangers that can truly harm your child’s mental and physical health.

Technology has pros and cons. One cannot deny that. While technology has been a boon, especially during the pandemic, it also leads to severe screen addiction in children. Here, we list both.

Let us start with the pros of technology.

  • Video games and technology have a positive effect on your child’s cognitive and spatial skills. For example, in their research report, they mentioned that -
    “Recently, Benoit et al. examined 14 professional VG players and 16 casual VG players with various cognitive abilities, such as processing speed, attention, memory, executive functions, manual dexterity, and tracking multiple objects in three dimensions. Professional players showed a very large advantage in visual-spatial short-term memory and visual attention, and less in selective and sustained attention and auditory working memory. "

  • Video games enable your child to work with vibrant visual stimuli and use their decision-making skills to go to the next level or next part of the video game. This develops their problem-solving skills, which can have practical applications later on in life.

  • When children get exposed to different songs and videos, they learn a lot about new cultures and languages that they typically would not learn in school. Most children go to Youtube and learn new nursery rhymes and songs in English and multiple languages that help improve their proficiency and fluency in that language. Many kids also get exposed to other foreign languages as well, like Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and more! Learning a new language helps boost brain development and cognitive functioning, especially for young kids.

  • The internet, although a controversial tool, is still a great place to meet and learn new things. Through different ed-tech platforms, kids have been learning so many different skills and lessons that they missed out on in school. Plus, through Zoom and online conference calls, Children were able to have some semblance of normalcy when the world shut down during COVID.

Here are the cons-

  • Repeated exposure to violent and loud video games can severely affect your child’s behavioral patterns from a young age. Since children are impressionable, the behaviors that they see online are easily modeled by them, and they incorporate those in their daily interactions with friends, making violent behavior a norm.

  • Social media sites and online blogging sites are setting unachievable beauty standards that are harmful to teenage boys and girls to internalize. This sets the ground fertile for online bullying and harassment leading to concerning mental health issues in the form of depression and eating disorders.

  • Cyber security is still an evolving concept and although we are making daily progress, children can still be exposed to inappropriate content despite all the safety child locks in place.

  • Social skills are dwindling daily among young children due to the overuse of the internet and gaming sites. Children are not going out and meeting people in person and even in a social setting, they are glued to their phones and video games, unable to hold a conversation in person.

  • Rising rates of obesity are now more common in urban areas where children are fixed on their couches in a sedentary position either completing their homework online or playing video games online.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong when it comes to technology. Children need to be tech-savvy from a young age, as our entire world is increasingly becoming tech-dependent by the day. The solution lies in striking the balance and figuring out a fixed system that works uniquely for your family!

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