Technology: The knowledge, skills, methods and techniques required to produce tools and equipment for people’s needs. Based on this definition, we may think that we should stand on the positive effects of technology, but in case of not being consciously used, especially in our homes, we are faced with the negative effects of technology on children!
When we speak of unconscious use of technology, children are the first ones that comes to mind. If an adult uses technology in a harmful way, we can call it “choice” instead of “unconsciousness”. But it’s different for children. Because children are generally not aware of the possible harmful effects they can cause with the wrong use of technology.
For this reason, we want to make some reminders for adults about the possible positive and negative effects of technology.
The first question we should consider is: What does technology mean for children?
The answer is simple: Computer, tablet, smartphone, television, advanced toys and so on, all technological products that will all be interesting for children. Technology for children is all this.
Therefore, while evaluating the subject from the perspective of children; No need for us to talk about industrial machines, medical devices or war materials – just for now. Let’s consider the technological content directly consumed by children:
Negative Effects Of Technology
1- Mental Skills Disorder:
Spending more time with the most common technological devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets causes problems like distraction and concentration disturbance. This situation negatively affects the academic success of the child and decreases the success in school.
Of course, technology is not the main source of the problem. As we mentioned at the very beginning, the reason for such problems is the extreme (unconscious) use of technology. It should not be forgotten that technological developments aim to provide benefit for us. Using the right technology with the right amount of course is not harmful for anyone.
Developed by academicians from Yıldız Technical University, specialized pedagogues and game designers in the field, MentalUP Educational Intelligence Games includes very special games (exercises) to improve children’s attention and concentration skills.
These exercises were examined by Mental Health Association and after the positive effects on the children were observed, MentalUP was certified as a pedagogical product. With such applications, it is very possible to use technology in a beneficial way.
2- Social Skills Disorder:
The social skills are weakening during the process in which the child who is playing too many games on a computer is disconnected from real life. The child, who is not in communication, interaction and sharing with his/her environment, is trying to meet all these needs in a virtual environment.
For example, children can see the level they have achieved in a game, the level they reach as a respectability element, and they can try to gain respectability in the vicinity of friends. However, these titles, which have no importance in real life, should be replaced by skills such as respect, love, sharing and communication. The child should gain respect on these skills.
3- Anger and Fear:
Children can be exposed to frightening elements in videos, cartoons or games they watch and play such as Momo. Children who are not capable of realizing the difference between the real and the imaginary can experience unfavorable situations such as fear of being alone, nightmares, and not being able to go to the toilet alone.
Similarly, when they consume videos or games containing elements of violence, they can turn into angry children.
4- Technology Addiction:
Again, technology addiction resulting from overuse causes a person to feel deprived when he/she is unable to reach the technological devices.
A child who is addicted to technology feels unsatisfied and unhappy every time he/she stays away from the computer or mobile devices.
Since we cannot always provide technological products to the child and we know that this is already wrong, we have to go through various restrictions. However, the more we delay these restrictions, the more the child becomes unhappy.
We understand from the dependency clause that in the absence of conscious and controlled use, the negative effects of technology can increase exponentially.
5- Physical Problems:
The negative effects of technology are not only emotional and mental disorders. The subject has also a physical dimension. Watching TV for a long time, using a computer or tablet in the wrong sitting position brings with it the following disadvantages:
- Eye-vision problems
- Neck Pain
- Distortion of the skeletal structure of the body
- Arm, hand, finger numbness
In addition to these, we can also say that the physical development of the child, who is immobilized with the use of technological devices, slows down the time required to be allocated to activities that support muscle development, such as walking, running, jumping, and playing physical games. It is important to remember that children who do not burn enough calories in such cases are at risk of obesity.
6 – Bullying, Abuse and Security Issues:
We have often talked about “overuse“. There are also hidden threats that do not depend on overuse among the negative effects of technology. For example: Cyber bullying! Considering that the technologies that children are interested in can usually be connected to the internet, we need to be aware of the external threats.
In games and applications with online communication preferences, children can be exposed to bullying. They can be abused by malicious adults. Again, malicious adults can obtain personal information about the child or his family.
To avoid this kind of negativity, we gave advice to families on our blog on “Safe Internet Use in Children: Top Tips for Parents”. So don’t forget to take a look at that article.
Positive Effects Of Technology
1- Increase in Intelligence Quotient (IQ):
American Cornell University Tomoe Kanaya conducts scientific research in nine schools from different races and different social groups. According to this study conducted on approximately 9,000 students, the IQ scores of the current generation are higher than the previous generation. Moreover, taking into account the Flynn effect, the results do not change, although every new IQ test is made more difficult compared to the previous ones.
Experts link this situation directly to technology. The increase in the number of technological products in children’s lives and consequently the increased stimuli serve as exercises to enable children to solve more complex problems.
“The more subjects the child in a fast learning process gets interested in or has experience, the more his/her IQ level increases”-Psychologist Ferahim Yeşilyurt
Of course, all these benefits are possible with the conscious use of technology. On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that the excess of stimuli leads to distraction.
In summary: Technology is recommended for children if the daily use of the devices is under control; but otherwise it can be harmful.
2- Mental Skill Development:
Brain exercises for children are limited to the physical materials he/she has. The child who has several different intelligence games at home, has to do the same exercise over and over.
There are many more opportunities now!
Memory games for children who want to improve their memory, attention games for children who want to improve their attention, visual games for children who want to improve their visual skills and much more are on your fingertips today. Therefore, technology is useful to children who use their computer or tablet to play brain games instead of playing car racing.
MentalUP has numerous intelligence games for children!
With MentalUP, which prepares a child-specific daily exercise plan in attention, memory, logic, visual, verbal areas, children develop all these skills with fun games. You can easily access MentalUP and use it in your home.
Note: The positive effects on children were observed and certified as a pedagogical product by the Mental Health Association.
3- Learning How to Learn:
Thanks to the Internet, there is an endless library in every house. Children can do extensive research on the subjects they wonder.
In this way, they are learning to access information, do research and learn.
“Learning to how learn” is a very important skill…
4- Instructional and Educational Content
Educational and instructional practices, such as games and applications that improve cognitive skills, are among the benefits of technology.
Applications that teach foreign languages, giving advice on society and ethics, lecturing cartoons, games and applications that practice in mathematical operations, and similar applications that give information through gamification, are always accessible for children.
Of course, parental supervision plays an important role in selected applications. Children may not foresee some risks. We should not forget to guide children about which applications are useful and which applications are harmful.
Visual design programs, technical drawing programs, coding programs and similar design tools improve children’s creativity.
Creative children are successful in adapting to the changing world. Likewise, they are successful in creating new solutions to the changing needs.
All this allows the child to meet his need to perform himself. This is a very important skill in terms of emotional development.
Your children should be able to reach you in case of an emergency, even if they are not old enough to use a mobile phone. Simple mobile devices like smart watches are produced to meet this need in a healthy way.
Smart watches have various features. For example, you can set the numbers that your child can call. Likewise, you can determine which numbers your child can receive calls from. In this way, you can eliminate the risk of the child communicating with people he does not know.
In schools, children are taught the numbers they should call in emergency situations. You can define the numbers of the ambulance and the fire services.
When needed, technology can be a life saver for your child and society to ensure the safety of life.
DECIDE HOW YOU WILL USE TECHNOLOGY
Up to this section, we have shared substance-related information about the negative and positive effects of technology. If you’ve noticed; some of the substances that describe the benefits and the harms seem to contradict each other.
For example, we have mentioned “Mental Skills Disorders” while we were talking about the negative effects of the technology but for the positive effects of the technology we’ve mentioned “Mental Skill Development” in reverse. Actually, there’s no contradiction here. with only one small detail, which is the main subject of this entire article:
Sure there are unique positive effects of technology for children using the right amount of it in a correct way. There are huge risks for children who use technology with wrong amount.
It is possible to avoid risky situations! As parents, if we guide our children correctly, we will allow them to benefit from the unique benefits of the technology.