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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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The influence technology has on children

Many changes have impacted the world in this century. Most of those changed have been created thanks to technology. As plenty of people know, technology has made a great impact on society and it is most beneficial. Are people aware that technology can be as negative to some people as well as it can be positive to others? in this research paper I will discuss some of the benefits and some negative outcomes that technology can create, mostly for children.

The world today is offering many new technological devices that make our lives easier and better. A person tends to learn more between the range from baby to child, that is why we hear people saying that it is not as easy to learn something when being a teenager than being younger. Children learn from what they see on television and put into practice demonstrating their personality. If this happens, then the family is questioned and the relatives may split up as well. When asking our parents, we can realize that this did not happen to them in their youth, so it's a new lifestyle that has been changing through time affecting our health.

How is technology affecting children's development?

The world today is offering easy access to the internet. One of the most critical factors is that nowadays people, even children, have the possibility to browse the internet or television and find everything in matter of second. This applies to violent, sexual, improper, unethical, content and they assimilate by watching, hearing and eventually practicing these things. Since the internet is everywhere, children's parents are not aware that their kids are doing this and, therefore cannot control the search for content. Most of the time that children are not accompanied by their parents, they are searching for content through the internet or watching television programs. In 1998, the Independent Television Commission's research, in England, stated that 46% of kids possess a TV in their room and 57% of parents do not monitor what their children see on television (Browne, Hamilton-Giachristis, 2005).  Many other studies have been made and the results were disappointing.

Up to this point, there is a question that comes up: How do children know all this information since they don't have the maturity to comprehend them, and, of course, their parents would never let them find these topics? The answer is that there is a new way of marketing that almost all companies apply, which is the use of adds on websites or applications in smartphones and tablets. Children don't know what they are watching and simply click on a picture that will redirect them to the advertisement's website. These advertisements on the applications have no filter and people that upload the advertisements don't know who is going to watch it, they are just doing their job. So, by the time children grow up they might be affected psychologically due to the exposure of these contents.

How has technology enhanced education?

Technology has, is, and will continue to change. There are some ways in which it will continue to develop. Today, children's ability to access information has increased compared to access in previous years, making it easier for children to obtain the information needed to study and learn. They can browse the internet in search for productive and educational videos, podcasts, or pictures. There have been created many applications or games that children can play on tablets to enhance their abilities such as matching pairs, practice math, develop skills, among others. Plenty of institutions offer online courses to students like colleges, high schools or websites. An advantage of online courses is that in more comfortable for people because they manage their own time and don't have to follow a schedule that may not be very flexible with other tasks a person needs to fulfill. From the word "online" it can be inferred that the person only needs a computer to do the class, meaning that the class, homework, and exams can be done in any place. This makes education more accessible and economical for people who can't afford it. The interaction between teachers and children can be easier and faster with the use of platforms, emails, and applications. Additionally, the use of hardcopy textbooks is useless and a suffering for people's backs, instead every book can be downloaded in a computer/tablet or browsed on the internet. There are some people that require special need or special assistance and technology offer an easier way provide help to the ones who need it. The world today is very competitive, so people are required to keep learning even after school. One of the best ways to make children learn is by making learning fun (Raza, 2017).

Is technology creating a family divide?

Over the past years, children who watch television are receiving negative messages from most of the shows they watch. One of them is that "parents are selfish, immature, incompetent, and generally clueless" (Taylor, 2013). Most of the people are aware that nearly all of these shows do not reflect what happens in real life, rather they make up hilarious or tough situations to entertain the audience. Kids do not understand the difference and, therefore, by watching these programs, they tend to think fantasy is actually reality.

Children's absorption of technology is increasing leading to an increase in family divide. Texting and video games are reasons why families do not sit together to eat dinner anymore.

In the past, families used to sit down at the dinner table and spend some quality time together. During lunchtime, kids are in school, the mother is either working or taking care of the house and making errands and the father has a job, so the only time of the day that the whole family could get together was during dinner. Some families have the tradition of going out to a restaurant once a week all family members. Today, parents can hardly convince their children to stay longer in the dinner table or even sit in the first place because the kid is either going out with some friends or because the TV and technological games have trapped their attention.

There is no communication within the family. A study recorded that when a parent arrived home from work children would greed them only 30% of the time and a 50% of the time they would simply be ignored (Taylor, 2013). Another study showed that family time was not interrupted by educational technology, but by social media (Taylor, 2013). Since children have the ability to easily absorb information, they learn to use new technologies quickly, but parents do not have this ability. As a result, children start to believe that they somehow ahead of their parents thinking that they lack authority for not knowing how to use the technology as well as their kids.

Technology has provided children the facility to communicate with any person in no time. In the past, people needed to call from home to home and that way parents were able to monitor their kid's actions and friendships. Technology gives children a sense of freedom and most of them take it very seriously. At the same, parents feel a detachment from their children and as a result, this offer kids more free time to attach more to technology.

A positive side of technology is that it can be used everywhere, so there should be more time for the family to bond at home. In a way, parents are guilty of this as well, by talking on the phone and receiving emails instead of playing or communicating with their children. Another study recorded that 50% percent of parents are friends with their children on Facebook. Some parents want to keep track of their offspring and others want to feel closer to them. A survey informed that most kids don't like being friends with their parents (Taylor, 2013).

How is the world different today from 20 years ago?

If we compare the world in the 21st century to how it was 20 years ago, we can see that the stuff we use today is completely different from the ones our parents used. Today we have Ipads, iPhones, Tablets, portable computers, internet, wireless connection, among others, while two decades ago phones and computers barely existed, being much more complicated to use and relatively larger in size. As a result, people did not have access to information as quickly as we have today and the access to most data was restricted depending on the age and accessibility of the person. In the case people wanted to find inadequate information by their own will, some people would have given up in the process of looking for it. On the other hand, presently, this option is not likely to happen since the information will be found instantly.

Is health related to technology?

Technology is a huge complement to health that has changed kid's daily routine. Children used to play outside where there is fresh air and use their imagination to develop games. Movement, touch, connection, and exposure to nature are four components that need to be practiced for the young to have a healthy mind and avoid obesity and diabetes, which are caused by technology overuse (Rowan, 2017). Even though many people don't trust these sources, it is actually true.  Over the past few years, young children are convinced to stay inside the house using the TV or playing with consoles. Believe it or not, the content and graphics are likely to damage the brain. 2010 Kaiser Foundation conducted a study showing that young children use technology for entertainment about 7.5 hours per day, where 75% of these kids have a television in their rooms. Also, 50% percent of homes in North America have the TV on all day, showing that "the bug screen" has taken over the population (Rowan, 2017). "Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders" are some illnesses due to abuse of technology (Rowan, 2017).

How can parents/adults provide a good use of technology for children?

There are a couple of options that parents can recur in order to put restraints on their children. One of them is to constantly watch their kids and use the devices with them to try and teach them what to use and what not to. At the same time, parents can check the different services their children use and if there is something that is not good for the child, the parent can easily delete it. Additionally, they can take any technological device that their children use and send it to a store that can block the applications and websites that they don't want their children to open. If these solutions are not applied then the child may start to develop bad habits and, therefore, the parents will need to punish their children and ground them so they don't put into practice those bad habits. Sometimes it's too late and habits have already taken over the will of the children, making it very hard to change their behavior.

Adults should facilitate technology to children mostly for learning and provide directions with respect to using it. One study stated that some adult prevents children from technology for the reason that it ruins their development while others believe the opposite. Another study showed that children who utilize technology for school and are given instructions by a teacher are more effective than children who are not oriented, furthermore, some researchers believe that children using technology might hinder their social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development while others argue the opposite (Hsin, Li, and Tsai, 2014).

When is the correct time for children to be provided with technology in their lives?

It is very beneficial for children to use technology since they are very young with the help and administration of an adult, but the matter is at what point in children's development should they be allowed to adopt the use of technology.  Every child is different and mature at a different age. We can use the example of babies starting to talk. Every baby develops the ability to speak in diverse time periods, so parents should know when the appropriate stage in their development in order is to release the restraints regarding technology. According to Hsin, Li, and Tsai, the impact of technology varies depending on gender, age, experience and time spent on usage, (2014).

To conclude, time has given us opportunities to evolve and create advancements that have and will help us keep evolving. Most of these advancements are technologies that provide many benefits, but there is a type of people that might be affected by these. Even though there is plenty to gain from them, it is necessary to create a balance and teach children how and when is the best way to use this technology. For future research, people can study and investigate what should be the following procedures for the upcoming time in order to maximize our benefit and minimize the negative effects. People should always keep in mind the proper use of technology.

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