How the Internet is taking our Children’s Lives by Storm
The question of the day is, "how does the internet affect our children’s lives"? The internet has become a critical and integral part of our lives. We use it for banking, research, television, gaming, and countless other tasks. As time goes on, the internet is only growing, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. While adults use the internet quite frequently, we often do not think about how it really affects us. As adults, we are already conditioned to society and the ways of the world. However, when it comes to our children it is a completely different story.
The internet and a child’s psyche
So, does the internet have an effect on a child’s development? Does it have an effect on their overall well-being? What about social skills? How about their schooling? We will take a look at all these factors and provide answers to each question. At times, the internet is viewed as a wealth of information and a platform for endless opportunities, socially, educationally, and beyond. On the other hand, the internet is like the wild west as far as access to the world goes. With an infinite number of sites and forums, it is not always easy to know what your child is doing.
At one extreme the internet is a helpful tool that provides us with the information we need when we need it. At the other extreme, the internet can be viewed as a hindrance to our children’s ability to learn, socialize, and lead normal lives. In fact, some even blame the internet for inadequacies in the education system. The healthy development of our children is imperative in order to breed healthy, functional adults.
How often are our children on the internet?
There have been numerous studies performed on this subject, all with a wide range of results. It is estimated that your everyday child is on the internet for either several hours a day or as low as three hours a week. However, many children tend to lean further toward daily internet usage. Unfortunately, this internet use is not exclusively for school. In fact, much of this internet usage is geared more toward recreational means.
From YouTube to Minecraft and Facebook, there are many activities available online today that consume our children’s time. The explosion of smartphones, social media, and digital devices is not something that Is coming to an end any time soon. In fact, as time goes by, we are only seeing more growth in the digital world. From iPads to laptops and gaming devices, our children are finding more and more reasons to hop online. In fact, by the time they reach 2 years old, over 90% of American children have an online history. Let that sink in. By the time children reach middle school they are spending more time with these media sources than they are with parents and friends.
The internet and its overall effect on our children
Unfortunately, by the time kids reach high school these days, they already have regrets regarding what they have posted on the internet. After all, once you post something on the internet, it is out there forever. There is no going back. Also, kids often have misguided judgment and they do not think that far ahead.
The impact of the heavy use of media and technology on children’s emotional, social, and cognitive development is in the early stages of research. While the process is just beginning, there is already evidence that all of this media is actively changing the way our brains work. In fact, too much multimedia content has been seen to attribute to limited attention spans, less comprehension, a greater risk for depression and anxiety, poor focus, and a decrease in long-term memory. As you can see, the internet and multimedia, in general, are affecting virtually every aspect when it comes to the development of children.
How can we combat this issue?
The safety, security, and well-being of our children are obviously of the utmost importance if we wish to raise successful adults. Beyond keeping a roof over their heads and ensuring that they make it to school and get their homework done, we must also monitor a few other areas in their life. The fact that we find ourselves knee deep in digital media on a daily basis is having a great effect on our thinking capacity, multitasking, and even how we feel about ourselves and our loved ones. Being that our children are online so often, they are the ones who are really suffering in the long term.
In order to combat this issue, there are a few things we can do. For starters, we can begin by monitoring our children’s activities and time on the internet. By setting rules regarding how much internet use they get and when you are effectively taking the first step in protecting your child. With multiple apps and software programs out there to help keep your kids on the straight and narrow as far the internet goes, it is no longer impossible to maintain your child’s internet presence.