I will be researching the effects of technology in early childhood. I chose to research this because it is something that is extremely important and active everywhere in the world as we continue to merge into a more digital world. This idea was inspired through my struggle with technology and being so consumed by the different sources of media network assessable by just a touch. The ‘addiction’ I would say made me wonder: If I grew up with no excessive use of technology till I was around twelve, would children younger who did grow up using such technologies be affected at greater levels? I researched articles and talks from many people who discussed the effects and solutions of the use of technology not just at a young age but also at an older age say between 1 – 25 just to get a better understanding of long term effects as well. This talk influenced my perspective on the use of technology enormously as well as these articles.
Main focus question – Is the use of technology dangerous to the younger generation? and should there be age restrictions.
– Certain apps available to most devices e.g “Talking tom” doesn’t allow proper interaction with a child. This app simply repeats exactly what the child is saying allowing no educational purposes to a child of young age while its brain is still developing (Lisa Guernsey) This idea of interaction was also supported by Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman who explains that kids need regular face to face interaction to pick up social skills. He believes that if many hours a day are being displaced by looking at screens passively these skills may not develop as fully. And it could also have an affect on how children interact with each other.
– Engagement with social media and cell phones (digital devices) releases a chemical called dopamine which you get when you smoke, consume alcohol and gamble. These three things are highly addictive. There are age restrictions on these three things but not on technology.
– Specifically during teen years using technology we are able to cultivate outside our homes – needing the approval of our friends. Highly stressful period of our lives so we are turning to the numbing effects of dopamine.
– Due to brain development between 0 – 3 years of age, worry that lack of socialising resulting from extended technology usage could affect a childs behaviour and ability to interact into adulthood. “a decline in physical human contact meant children struggled to formulate basic social skills”
– Digital devices are preventing the development of a young brain due to it not being properly exercised. Professor Manfred Spitzer “theory that digital devices are in some way preventing a young brain from being properly exercised therefore affecting its development.” – Professor Manfred Spitzer this claim was also supported by Professor of pharmacology at Oxford University Baroness Greenfield who said “Young people’s brains were failing to develop properly after being overexposed to the cyber world at an early age.”
– Young people exposed to modern technology for more than four hours a day are less likely to display high levels of “wellbeing” than those limiting access to less than 60 minutes, it emerged. – Graeme Paton
– strong influence on a person affecting their wellbeing can be shaped from technology – “The conclusions come just days after a leading academic warned that a generation of children risks growing up with obsessive personalities, poor self-control, short attention spans and little empathy because of an addiction to social networking websites”
– Certain apps are programmed for younger audiences and are said to be beneficial “Apps that allow children to be creative or communicate in some way are the ones that I always recommend for schools to use.”
– use of technology is targeted, it could help in a child’s development.
– Almost like distant learning students are able to have an education without having to physically interact this could be a positive thing in terms of convenience, preferences, and circumstances.
– Figures from the Office for National Statistics found that the use of video games and social networking had a number of advantages, including enhancing existing friendships and allowing shy children to communicate.
“Balanced by practical activities, paper based activities and outdoor activities as well.”
“Children who have grown up with this technology from a young age, will be in a better position to recognise the importance and central nature of technological skills – but this shouldn’t be to the detriment of reading, writing and the interaction of play with physical toys and nature.”
“There is no need to worry about new technology to the extent that we ban children from using these devices.” Child psychotherapist Barbie Clarke
“With no definitive research up to now more research is needed but in the meantime experts suggest a good healthy balance and everything in moderation is sound advice.”
How the iPad affects young children, and what we can do about it: Lisa Guernsey at TEDxMidAtlantic
Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace
Tonight reporter Jonathan Maitland
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor