Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kids and Technology: The Pros and Cons

Can you remember when the internet started becoming widely used in people’s homes? The pure novelty and excitement of that whirring dial-up modem spring into life. Navigating the web (a far, far scaled back version of what we have today) on a huge blocky computer with a small screen and a big back. Can you remember how incredible it was seeing how technology became slimmer and sleeker over the years? Phones no longer had aerials and buttons and transformed into incredible little mini computers in front of our eyes. Think back to how revolutionary iPads and tablets were when they were first released. These days we’re so used to powerful smartphones in our pockets, amazing computers, smart TVs that do so more than just show you what’s on tv. It’s difficult to remember that just a few short decades ago, this just wasn’t a thing at all. For kids it’s even harder, they’ve grown up around this technology, and most two-year-olds can even navigate a phone or iPad these days. It’s such second nature to them to use these devices, it makes you wonder whether this is a good or bad thing. Like with anything, there are two sides to the coin- it has both positives and negatives. Here are some of the pros and cons when it comes to kids and technology.
Modern technology isn’t cheap, and of course, kids want to have all of the latest gadgets. Phones, computers, laptops, smart watches and everything else come with a hefty price tag. And of course, with clumsy kids, you also run the risk of this then getting broken. There are companies such as Forever Wireless computer repair that you can contact when things go wrong, but with delicate technology, you always run the risk of it getting broken. Spilled drinks, being dropped, viruses accidentally being downloaded and everything else can all be an issue. If you are going to buy your child an expensive gadget (or let them use yours), it could be worth paying for insurance.
As parents, one of our biggest concerns is keeping our kids safe online. It’s easy to supervise a child when you’re sat with them playing a game or watching a movie on the phone, tablet or laptop. But when they get a little older, and when and their friends have devices of their own, it’s difficult to know exactly what information they’re being exposed to. You might have child filters on, but they’re not perfect. And who knows if their friend's parents have been so vigilant with their own children’s safety settings. On the plus side, there’s a positive safety aspect when it comes to kids having technology. Being able to call or text them to find out exactly where they are can be useful and save hours of worrying if they’re late home for whatever reason. Apps like Find My Friends also allow you to track their location on the map, giving you peace of mind that they’re safe and where they should be.
Having the ability to find the answer to any question is an incredible tool. No longer do you have to trawl through books or spend ages skimming though information you don’t want- the answer is right there. Technology can make learning fun, and kids have the opportunity to explore their curiosities and delve into subjects of interest at just the click of a button. However, technology can also be a distraction and can be a negative thing in some cases. When kids are supposed to be studying and instead are messing around chatting to friends or playing games it can actually hinder their learning. The key is to make sure it’s used correctly.


Neve said...

Sweet article, Demcy. (I know it's kinda old but Google brought me here and I love it.)

I agree, a sick kid can be an excuse to look after not just them but ourselves too. We don't need to feel guilty curling up on the couch with a DVD (or three)!

Neve x