Today’s children are very different than those who grew up a century ago. To be completely honest, this generation is actually much different than they were a decade ago. Technology is moving things along so quickly that our children are now growing up using electronic devices since the age of one (or younger). They use tablets in school instead of books, have a new way of doing math that confuses most grown-ups, most do not even know what encyclopedias and dictionaries are, and they are not even taught cursive writing anymore in many schools in the United States. Yes, we live in a digital world that has changed the way most children learn and some say it is making them lazy and even spoiled. According to UNICEF, 71% of children and young adults under the age of 25 use the internet on a daily basis. In fact, one in three internet users are under the age of 18.
The Next Generation
Digital technology is important nowadays in everything that we do and if your children do not have access to the latest technology, they could be at a disadvantage. Is this fair? Absolutely not. Considering how many children all over the globe are living in poverty, not having access to a computer, tablet, or any other electronic device is quite normal and many of them only have limited use at school, depending on the area they live and what school they attend. However, there are also those whose culture does not allow them to use digital technology or go online at all. Many girls and women in certain cultures are not allowed to be online at all and they will miss out on certain learning and connection opportunities. This can certainly limit their knowledge and abilities to succeed in society. What can we do about them?
Dangers of Unsupervised Internet Use
There is not a whole lot we can do to change cultures and we should not even try because everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. However, it is the children who are already using high tech devices on a daily basis that can also get into trouble with it. For example, there are many dangers on the internet such as child predators who can entice your child into doing something dangerous such as meeting with them. There are also many instances of bullying online that can cause extreme duress in your child and has even been known to cause suicide.
While our children have more opportunities than we did due to their ability to use the internet, they may also be more susceptible to other issues such as physical and mental health conditions. Obesity is on the rise in adolescents and many experts claim it is due to children sitting more than usual, playing video games or using social media rather than engaging in sports or just playing outside. In addition, the incidence of depression, anxiety, and ADHD are on the rise in adolescents. There has even been studies done that show compulsive internet use and video game addiction are very real and abundant in teens and adults all over the world.
The truth is, technology is not the enemy. It is on us, the parents and loved ones, to help shape the next generation and if we allow them to live 24/7 online without guidance, that is a parental problem. Technology is important and even essential for the future of our children and we can even use it to help them with free counseling if needed. Teach them while you can because they grow up fast.
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