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Families are drastically different than they were less than 20 years ago. One of the reasons for this development is technology. Managing work, school, and social lives parents rely heavily on technology to assist them daily to keep their lives under control. Technology has become such a big part of everybody’s life, that many fail to see how dependent we have become on it. In addition to dependency, the escalation in technological advancement over the last 15 years has enabled people to be able to access information more easily and therefore expand educational development.
Technology has not only been affecting adults but children as well. One of the differences that have been most noticeable in children the way they interact socially (i.e. play with each other) and in their physical and mental health. By the age of 3 years old, the child’s brain has developed 90% of the way and has made critical relations that will influence how memories will be formed and how the child will learn.
At 3 years old, a child needs to develop positive relationships with a parent, grow muscles, build language skills, interact socially with other kids, and have the chance to be creative. A majority of children rely on technology to provide entertainment and therefore miss out on outdoor play. Screens do not provide a good environment for kids to be able to interact with others and explore the outdoors. The “two-dimensionality” of TVs, computers, tablets, and touchscreen phones, affect the development of perception, depth, and distance.
According to Patel, playing outdoors has countless positive effects on children.
The sunlight provides Vitamin D which helps fight infections and promotes bone health. On top of that, sunlight helps keep the sleep cycle regular by increasing melatonin production in the body. Another reason why electronics are harmful to children is because of the blue light it emits. Blue light can scatter more easily than the other colors of light which make it unfocused. This unfocused light reduces contrast when looking at a screen and can contribute to strain on the eye and reduce blinking. Reducing the rate of blinking leads to dry eyes which may damage younger eyes more easily. This supports the trend in a dramatic increase in eyeglasses in the younger population. In the journal article, the study was intended to find out and assess how many young children fall within the American Academy of Pediatrics media-use guidelines. They used children from ages 0 to 6 to assess a relationship between screen time and play time. They used a representative population and assessed whether children had TVs in their room, and how the parents controlled the children’s time with the TV. The study took a representative sample of all races, so I think that the study can be used to assume trends with all parents and can be nationally representative. The researchers used survey questions that the parents answered in person. Respondents were asked to indicate whether they had a television in the household, whether they had cable or satellite television, and the number of televisions in the household. Respondents were also asked whether their child had a television in the bedroom. The researchers used the definition given by the American Academy of Pediatrics to determine whether children fell into the proper media-use guidelines. From the study, they were able to prove that television is a constant part of American lives and that it is not going to change very soon. Another thing that the time children spent watching television without parents was correlated to the lack of time spent interacting with parents and instead was spent watching television.
In the news article, the writer Dhruvin Patel has a clear negative bias towards the effect technology has on children. He talks about how technology changes the way kids socialize and play with each other which have major impacts on their mental and emotional well-being in the future. In addition to this, he also mentions the effect social media has on not only kids but teenagers as well. From low self-esteem issues and negative viewpoints about almost everything, social media has been a major reason why kids isolate themselves from their peers and lower the frequency of interaction over time. When kids do not develop the proper interaction and social skills, it makes it more difficult for them to grasp normal social cues, this can have serious consequences as they grow older. This makes sense because the more time kids spend with their tablets and phones the less time they spend with others and cannot make person to person connections which results in a difficult time developing emotions. While Patel talks about the negatives of technology he does not dismiss technology altogether. He proposes a time limit for all gadgets. Patel also says to encourage kids to watch educational or something they are excited to watch, and not waste their time on social media. He also encourages parents to set a good example by limiting their time on technology as well.
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