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Kids use technology over 8.5 hours a day according to my mass media class and most times while multitasking with several digital media devices. This statistic raises many concerns about well-being, physical health, mental growth and sociability. Parents are worried their kids are forming relationships through technology and will be emotionally stunted.
Journalist Jennifer LeClaire said in a TechNewsWorld article that kids get used to too much “auditory and visual stimulation, and in the absence of these stimulations, they do not know what to do with themselves.”
Most kids and young adults living in the 21st century are addicted to technology.
“I cannot go more than 20 minutes without using my cell phone for either texting, games or the Internet,” said Kaitlyn Bruce, a sophomore news-editorial major at CU.
Psychologist Leah Klungness said in the TechNewsWorld article that “incessant exposure to ‘all day TV,’ violent video games, instant messaging and the always-accessible cell phone interferes with the development of the psychological traits known to be essential to positive outcomes for children.”
According to wired.com, now 48 percent of children ages 5 or younger know how to use a cell phone. These statistics have shot through the roof in just the past five years alone. My niece, who is only 3 years old, knows how to work both a desktop computer and her parents’ iTouch. This news is shockingly increasing with the years as technology becomes more progressive and accessible at any moment.
Some people believe that with the evolution of technology, the influence it has on children is only matched with the progression of digital media. With anything just one-click away, our society has become more impatient and also dependent on computers, phones, television and the like. Our society has progressed through technology; however, it has also stunted our personal growth at the same time.
“It turns out members of the multitasking generation pay a price for their digital lives on their report cards. Among the heaviest media users, about half get Cs or lower in school, while only a quarter of light users report bad grades,” according to an ABC News article.
While kids used to climb trees and make games out of sticks and rocks, they now stay inside and play video games for hours. Their imaginations are being diminished by technology. Digital media has made us dependent and therefore unable to think on our own.
All in all, technology is a useful tool if it is used right. But there are downsides—being connected all the time and always being instantly gratified can lead to a digital media addiction. Most people watch television, text on their phones and surf the Internet simultaneously. There is no way to survive in today’s world without technology; however, it is important for children not to become dependent on it in this new age of digitization.
Kids growing up in the 21st century have learned that digital media is necessary for everyday life. Not knowing any different, children automatically feel validated when they know how to use technology and continue to multitask various technologies for most of their days. There is no way to slow down the progression of technology in our society, so as long as kids understand the benefits and hazards of using technology it is still beneficial in everyday life.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alexia Bouttier at Alexia.firstname.lastname@example.org.