Today, countless different gadgets have become so commonplace that it is hard to imagine life without them. Devices such as MP3 players, cell phones, and GPS units are items that most people own regardless of their age, occupation, or income level. While these gadgets have had many positive impacts on society, there are also some downsides associated with using them. This is especially true for the youth. Only by understanding the effects of gadgets on young people can changes be made that lead to a happier, brighter future for today’s youth.
A good place to start is by looking at all of the positive ways that these gadgets affect the lives of children and teenagers. The following list takes a closer look at some of these positive impacts.
Cell phones have helped dramatically improve safety for children and adults alike. Having immediate access to a phone that can be used to call 911 in an emergency can truly save lives. Additionally, parents can reach their children anytime they need to, informing them of family emergencies, after school plans, changes to their schedule or any other important information that could affect their safety and well-being.
GPS devices can also assist with safety. For teens or other young drivers, being able to get reliable driving directions can help prevent them from getting lost if they accidentally venture out of areas that they are familiar with.
Devices that access the Internet such as tablets, laptops, and desktop computers have made it possible for children of all ages to do online research. This unlimited access to information has revolutionized the way that people learn. Instead of having to visit the library and rely on only the books that are there, kids can access top resources from around the world to find information that is current and up-to-date.
Additionally, video games and other types of technology can be useful teaching tools. For instance, games can be used to teach letters and numbers or to help children understand grammar and mathematics in a way that is both fun and educational.
Along with these positive effects, however, gadgets can also negatively impact today’s youth. Here are some of the negative effects of these devices.
Trying to concentrate at school can be challenging when kids are continually distracted by their devices. Incoming text messages or emails can disrupt class if children are allowed to carry their cell phones with them during the school day.
Video games and other types of interactive devices can keep kids from finishing their homework or doing other important tasks. These types of distractions can get in the way of them progressing in their education and in their daily lives.
Less Social Interaction
These days, most kids spend their time buried in their cell phones or video games rather than directly interacting with their friends. Although they may send text messages back and forth, there is far less in-person communication than in the past. This lack of social interaction can lead to problems with kids being shy or lacking social skills as they grow older.
Oftentimes, the interaction that does occur through the Internet can be extremely negative. Bullying is more problematic than ever, largely due to the fact that people can hide behind their screen names without having to disclose their true identity. These types of hurtful interactions through the Internet can do tremendous damage to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence, affecting their ability to grow into a confident, successful adult.
More Health Problems
Today’s devices and gadgets typically result in children being less active than they were in the past. Because kids spend more time indoors playing on their cell phones or playing video games, they spend far less time running and playing with their friends outdoors. This can result in problems with obesity. Unfortunately, being overweight carries a number of health risks that can negatively impact a child.
Problems can also arise from the use of MP3 players. Listening to music through headphones can cause permanent hearing damage if the volume is turned to high.
Many of today’s youth also experience problems with neck pain and shoulder pain from constantly looking down at their devices. Additionally, they may have problems with their thumb joints from continually texting or playing video games.
These are just some of the many effects of gadgets on today’s youth. While technology can provide a tremendous number of benefits, it also has many downsides. It is important to be aware of both the positive and negative effects of these types of gadgets so that they can be used in a healthy, balanced way. Parents should take the time to educate themselves about how to keep their kids healthy and active while still giving them access to the technology that they need to keep up with their classmates.