Handheld Gadgets for Kids | Advantages and Disadvantages
Everywhere you look nowadays, everyone seems to have a favorite gadget that is seemingly connected to him. You can find people connected incessantly to their smartphones, laptops, tablets and all other sorts of digital devices that seem to decrease their physical interaction with the real world.
There have been several sectors who have said that the advent of technology in our society has several long-term effects on the psychology and physiology of our children. There are definitely some advantage and disadvantages to continuous exposure to devices for our kids. And we have to live with these things because our kids, unlike us are digital natives as they have been and are continuously being exposed to technology on a daily basis that is unprecedented in history.
Here are some advantages as to the continuous exposure to such devices can hold. Remember though, that it can be fools’ gold if you believe that there are only good things that can happen with constant exposure:
- Exposure to a wider realm of knowledge. As we have said, our children are digital natives. Seemingly they know how to operate gadgets even without our instructing them. They know how to swipe, they know how to operate, they know how to turn these gizmos on. They have at their fingertips a veritable cornucopia of knowledge that was previously only available to us via books. Now a simple touch and they have it ready – such wonders of technology!
- Faster, better way of communicating with the wider world. The exposure to such technology has ensured our children would be more interconnected to others. They can make more friends in the digital world and as a result, they can communicate on a much different scale than us. They are on their way to becoming true global citizens.
- Challenging educational tasks at hand. With the advent of technology, we can have more educational games at hand – and these things would not only improve your child’s abilities but moreover accelerate the rate of learning. Whereas we only had board games and our imagination, now our kids have several thousands of applications to choose from to help them cope with their learning style.
Now here are some of the disadvantages that we believe would be brought about by continuous exposure to such gadgets:
- A Higher level of eyesight problems. Radiation and the constant glare of the monitors would surely affect the eyesight of our kids. We do expect several percentage increases in the occurrence of eyesight problems because of the constant exposure to such gadgets. So, parents beware of this!
- A Higher level of health risks. Recently trending news indicate a connection to constant exposure to tablet use and epileptic seizure due to the graphics component of some games. While the girl survived, it did drive a point that there are several health risks involved in this constant exposure – so again, we would like to remind the parents, it is not bad if you would limit the use of these gadgets to only a few hours each day.
- Higher aggression levels. Since some of the most addictive games are action-packed and role-playing games, chances are, your child would be manifesting higher levels of aggressive behavior. Which of course, is the reason for alarm in itself because we do not want our children to grow up as bullies.
- Lower levels of attention span. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the manifestation of lower attention spans among our kids. Some children may even develop attention deficit disorders because they cannot concentrate on tasks at hand. If you are not alarmed, well, you should be.
Exposure to gadgets is a double-edged sword. We have to make sure that there is a balance that we can have when we expose our kids to such devices. Limit the exposure to such devices of no more than two hours per day and you would be okay. But if you are not alarmed by the early spate of effects, then you should be because these early onset effects can only mean that there are other long-term effects that have yet to be discovered.
Note: Abby has her own tablet which she uses to learn her nursery rhymes and other learnings. Her time of exposure is definitely limited and not continuous.