New research has shown that children 5 and under are at risk for internet addictions.
When we were children we didn't have the internet, or we were just being introduced to dial-up. Do you remember that sound? We remember the first time that we were able to talk on the phone and be on the internet at the same time. Do you remember that? That was an exciting day! As children, we didn't have to worry about spending too much time "surfing the internet" looking at our Pinterest, or keeping up with our social media. Our exact response would have been, "what is social media?" Now, our children are growing up in the "I-gen" generation. They are considered the "I-phone Generation" because they have been raised by technology.
When we were five our parents didn't have to look over our shoulder to look at us playing on the computer. Heck, most of didn't even know how to work the computer at five. Wow, times have changed! Now, we see 5-year-olds with their very own tablets that have complete internet access. Youtube has created camps for children as young as 5 to go to in order to create a more successful online presence. Children as young as five are becoming addicted to technology and their use of the computer. Heck, studies have shown that children younger than five are even showing signs of being addicted to computers and technology.
Studies have shown that children as young as one and two are learning how to access computers, tablets, and even television programming. Their parents just hand them a form of technology and then the kids are able to access what they would like to. Researchers have found that technology is taking the place of family time. Instead of parents playing with their kids, learning with them and spending quality time with them, they are handing them a phone. Discussions at the family dinner are being masked with the use of a television program.
Although there are several great things that come from technology and the internet, there are also many risks that can be detrimental to a child's learning. Many studies have shown that technology can inhibit a child's ability to think creatively. Tom Madders, campaigns director at the charity Young Minds, said: “Using phones and being online from a young age, including having access to social media accounts, has become a normal part of life for many children. The children and young people we work with tell us about the positives of using technology, but also that being exposed to harmful content or being bullied round the clock on social media can have a serious impact on their mental health.”
Parents should start being more conscientious about how much screen time that their young ones are receiving. Technology isn't inherently bad, but it is very crucial for kids to learn how to live life without the use of technology. Children should be allowed to be bored and to learn how to play using their imaginations. Parents should not replace family time by handing their child a tablet. Kids should learn how to behave and to sit still without having to look at a screen.