Technology addiction and its Effects on Children

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Why the people introducing technology to our kids don’t want their own kids to use it

The year 2018 has been the year in which we have seen how Google, Facebook or Apple, drivers of technology that demands constant attention in the form of notifications and new content.

Which have decided to give us tools to control the time we spend with their products and ways to reduce it.

And coincidence or not, it is also the year in which we have discovered striking technology addiction news that the technologists of Silicon Valley, creators of this technology addiction, prohibit or limit their children the use of the products that they themselves develop.

According to the latest technology addiction news section in The NewYork Times, those closest to this situation are the most knowledgeable and concerned about it, and in that line.

There are several examples of executives and former directors of Silicon Valley companies that are extremely reluctant that their children use devices with touch screens.

Executives and former directors of Google, Facebook, Mozilla … One of the last ones who publicly raised his voice was Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, who said he prefers that there are limits to the use of technology in schools and that he did not want that his nephew use social networks.

Well, the question arises that what could be the possible reason for this hypocritical behavior of these people? Well, the answer is quite simple.

Technology isn’t safe for our children. To put it in more direct words I would openly state that, ”Technology is harmful to our children.”

Is the use of computer bad for children and adolescents?

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Its use, like that of any other technology, is neither good nor bad since it is only a tool for study, work, leisure, and communication.

The problem lies, as in all things, in the use that is given to it.

Consequences of the use of Technology Addiction

  • Attention deficit: Among children under 2 years can occur because his only focus is on the screen.
  • Learning problems: being a great distraction when studying.
  • Increase tantrums: especially in the youngest ones, due to overstimulation and sometimes due to the content of the videos they see.
  • Sedentary: spending hours in front of the computer or sitting playing on the cell phone or the tablet together with poor diet and little exercise, can cause childhood obesity that could bring other diseases at an early age.
  • Addiction: The use of this equipment, introduce the child into a reward circle through the production of dopamine, known as the hormone of happiness. The problem is that at an early age, there are no tools like temperance, which creates a fascination that turns into addiction.
  • Reduced ability to interact: Limits your ability to establish new relationships and interactions with other children, in the same way, your physical interaction will also be reduced.
  • Sleep disorders: The pineal gland, which produces melatonin at night and in the dark, is very sensitive to variations in light, and the emitted by these electronic equipment causes the emission of the sleep hormone to be reduced or paralyzed.

Technology addiction and the use of the computer or mobile phone for our children?

The answer is a resounding no. The new technologies are and will be there and our children, sooner or later, will join them.

The important thing is to teach them a rational and responsible use of these tools.

What do I do if my child has a technology addiction to a mobile phone?

It is advisable not to offer unlimited use to a child. It is also convenient to control the use of the smartphone or check the bill to see the minutes spent.

Having the internet on your mobile phone is not recommended for minors who do not yet know how to use the Internet.

How long should I let my child surf the web?

There is not a precise time. However, parents must have a criterion in this respect and establish consensus guidelines depending on each case.

It is recommended that during the week, the time should not be more than half an hour a day and, on weekends, it can be extended to one hour, always giving priority to homework and assignments.

Can my child have direct access to social networks like Facebook or Tumblr?

Children under 10 should not have access to the internet alone: ​​they can use the computer as a game, leisure, study or information source tool.

From 10 to 14 years old they can access the internet according to the schedule and the stipulated norms under the supervision of the parents.

Many children “forbid” their parents to monitor their chat or social networks because, according to them, they would be “violating their privacy.”

This argument lacks logic if one takes into account that, at these ages, children can be highly potential victims of fraud, harassment or deception on the Internet.

From the age of 14 years, very clear rules of use should be established and the respective sanctions applied in case of non-compliance.

Children are free to use it, but knowing the risks and dangers of doing so and the limitations that we put on them.

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How to prevent our children from abusing technology addiction?

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  • Do not use technology as an emotional peacemaker.
  • Children should be taught how to identify and control strong emotions.
  • Teach them techniques to calm themselves using breathing techniques and leading them to talk about what happens to them.
  • Promote outdoor activities: It is important that children learn to enjoy recreational activities that take them out of their obsession with technological devices.
  • Set limits and encourage them to take time off.
  • The unstructured game and outside the digital world stimulates creativity.
  • Free time for digital devices should be a daily priority, especially for younger children.
  • Do not use any type of screen in children under two years.
  • Do not use computers or telephones in the hour before sleep.
  • The use of these during the night is highly harmful and only prevents them from resting peacefully
  • Be a good example Because children are great imitators, it is important for parents to limit the use of devices in front of children.
  • That way they will be more available to play together as well.
  • Make the transition little by little: If the child is starting an addiction, he will need to disconnect progressively.
  • If it is eliminated abruptly, it increases childhood anxiety instead of improving it.

Finally, in case the problem is more serious and difficult to address.

It is important that parents seek psychological help to determine the causes of this addiction and develop a plan together and avoid major consequences.

WHEN TO GO TO THE PSYCHOLOGIST?

Parents of young children should consider going to a psychologist:

  • when addiction is the priority in the life of the child and for it delegates responsibilities.
  • uch as doing homework, studying, or stops carrying out pleasant activities to stay connected, such as going out with friends or play.
  • When a child renounces his social or family life and prefers to live isolated in his room or with his mobile or tablet.

What Future holds for us?

What can happen in the long term if this trend in children and adolescents is not reversed?

Technology can have a lot of consequences starting with the lack of social skills that prevent giving messages in face to face, only through digital environments and continuing by the inability to manage emotions correctly.

Some generational changes are starting to take place, although not only because of the smartphone.

Jean M. Twenge, an American psychologist, says that the changes he has seen in the generation born between 1995 and 2012 with respect to previous generations have been the quickest and sharpest he has seen in his entire career.

As they have more free time, which now passes in solitude, with the smartphone as the epicenter of their social communications.

Also, lower interest in driving (an activity that aroused a huge interest shortly before), fewer appointments, and even fewer sexual relations between fifteen and eighteen years.

The main consequences of the abuse of the smartphone are already beginning to occur, now we need to see what decisions parents make against them in the long term.

Conclusion

Let’s end this discussion by establishing the fact that although technology may have thousands of benefits, our children aren’t ready for it.

It has a lot of bad consequences on young impressionable minds of our children and as a concerning member of this society.

Who want to see the society flourish and thrive in its values, we have to protect our children from harms of technology addiction.

We can do it by establishing some rules and allowing supervised and limited use of technology addiction by our children.

If all of that doesn’t work we can always take some professional help.

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