The effects of technology and screens on child development
Technology and screens have great potential to assist and improve education, but they need to be managed properly and used with proper intent. Screens can have a severe effect on the development of children, with the effects getting stronger the younger the children are. For children under the age of 3 it is essential that they are not left alone with devices, their experience with devices should be using them alongside an adult. From age 3 to 10 it is important that a schedule for usage is determined, this will teach them to wait. By doing this you are teaching them to limit their usage which is important for self regulation in the future. If they don’t learn at a young age the importance of taking a break then they are less likely to learn it until much later. Devices shouldn’t be used before bed because that can have severe negative effects on sleep as well as take away time that would otherwise be spent on other activities. Older than 10 they have learned most of their habits and it is important to make sure that they are getting enough sleep and are being social. Consistent sleep is essential, you can’t make up for lost sleep on the weekend, by trying to do so you are only continuing desynchronize your body. With new technology and social media it can be easier to disconnect from your peers but social interaction is essential for growth and development. Isolation can lead to decreased academic performance. Throughout all age groups children learn most from their parents and watching their actions. It is essential that parents exhibit good use of technology, being present and focusing on their children. From the time they are born and you are feeding them if you are on your phone while you are doing this it will have negative effects.
Situational vulnerabilities play an important role in this issue as well as awareness about this issue. People in more vulnerable situations face more adverse effects. Situations include lack of employment or insecurity about employment, financial difficulties, distance from educational social or medical services and poverty. Unfortunately the people that are more likely to be affected by this issue are also more likely to be less aware of it. This makes sense thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It says that individuals must first focus on their basic needs before they can worry about psychological of self fulfillment needs. In this case the individuals struggling to provide for their families, including food and shelter don’t have time to worry about issues that have the possibility to affect them in the future. This issue is something that everyone should be aware of and make sure to stay up to date on.
Recently US Senator Edward Markey announced the Kids Internet Design and Safety Act or KIDS Act. The goal of this act is to update the rules set forth in the Children’s Television Act of 1990. This will include protections that cover all media platforms and promote digital wellbeing. It is important that as technology continues to advance and improve at a rapid pace the rules that govern the technology continues to improve with it. The act will include rules requiring all media platforms to stop manipulative and damaging designs to keep kids addicted, limit marketing to kids, create incentives for positive content creation and require transparency and strong enforcement.