Children growing up in today’s society cannot even imagine a world without the internet or the use of technology. On a daily basis I see the effects of technology on society, from commuting on the train and seeing everyone with a phone in their hands almost avoiding any eye contact to people walking on the street looking at their phone not paying attention to where they are walking. With my current job I am around children almost everyday and see the effect first hand that technology has on them. From the moment they wake up to really the moment they go to bed their lives are fully consumed with technology gadgets. According to the attached New York Times article, children ages 8-18 spend over 7 ½ hours a day using technology and almost 5 hours of watching television and movies. This is a clear reflection of the direction our society is heading in. It has a direct correlation with the problems that the youth are facing on an everyday basis.
I want to make it clear from the beginning that I am not against technology and realize that it can be beneficial to learning and development but in moderation. Being that they are children, it is important to remember that their brains are still developing and therefore as the adults must moderate their exposure and gear them in the right direction. The negative effects such as obesity, lower grades, laziness, and less social interactions with family and friends have become something of an epidemic here in the U.S. and have been receiving a lot of attention. The irony of technology is that it stems from someones imagination but it takes away the imagination of children. There has been more than one occasion when I tell the children to put the electronics away they ask me “ what should I do now”. My answer is always I’m sure you’ll find something to do, in an attempt to have the children utilize their own creativity and imagination. Imaginative play is crucial for a child’s cognitive and emotional development. Playing with actual toys and interacting with other children help to develop in these areas. Obesity is a big factor as well, with childhood obesity and diabetes on the rise, children need more physical activity in their lives. Not only are children less active today, but they are also more likely to eat mindlessly in front of the television whether or not they are hungry.