How Does Technology Affect Children’s Social Development?

How Does Technology Affect Children’s Social Development?

Written by Alison Lurie, In Technology, Published On
November 14, 2021

As technology use has risen, so there are a lot of concerns we receive from parents about its impact on children’s social development. From cognitive and learning issues to social and emotional issues, parents and professionals have every right to question the effects of something that consumes so much of children’s time and energy. While digital device use and media consumption certainly bring social benefits, concerns arise when excessive device time reduces time spent engaging and taking advantage of personal interactions and development activities.

From smartphones and social media to TV-based toys and tablets, today’s kids are constantly flooded with technology. While it is important for children to develop their technology skills, they will eventually use computers throughout their lives, but too much technology can be harmful to health and physical impact. Negative effects on children’s health range from an increased risk of obesity to loss of social skills and behavioral problems. Of course, that doesn’t mean parents should prevent technology fully, but it’s vital for parents to be conscious of the impact of technology on their children and generate plans to limit their children’s screen time.

Let’s take a clear look at how your child’s online time affects their social abilities – empathy, compassion, and sensitivity to human relationships.

How Does Technology Affect Children’s Social Development?

  • Critical thinking

Not surprisingly, research shows that advances in technology have led to a decline in everyday reading. It also said that children are not challenged to think critically or expand their thinking, as many of the blocks of text they encounter on digital devices are written in 140 characters or less. To counter this and encourage critical thinking, you should take time each day to read where there are no electronics. Critical thinking can be developed by extending the conversation, by helping your children build a conversation by referring to previous experiences or things they have read.

  • Passive physical activity

Time spent on technology means time spent sitting. Even with portable devices, the activity itself requires the user to be mostly quiet. Moreover, given the number of time children spend engaging in technology today, it also means that active time spent playing games indoors or outdoors has largely been replaced by these activities today. In extreme cases, children or teens may even abandon other vital activities, such as eating or sleeping, while playing video games or other media.

  • Depression risk

Children who reported more time for media use also reported more psychological problems. Depression is a major problem associated with increased media use. This has increased suicide rates and resulted in more young people needing psychological interventions such as medication and counseling. Experts believe time spent on social media or using technology could be directly linked to an increase in depression.

  • Loneliness

Other problems arising from the increasing use of technology are loneliness and depression. Children and youth, often clinging to their technical devices, feel a lack of “real” friends and peers. Once they know this, they try to communicate and make connections on the outside, but the lack of social skills makes it difficult for these children and teens to interact, resulting in loneliness. This can eventually lead to depression.

  • Violent content

A lot of content supported by technical tools supports violence. Whether video games, movies, or TV shows, children are especially exposed to violence, which is reflected in their social development. Young children can accept it as a way of life and try to perform similar actions that affect their social interactions.

  • Obesity

Naturally, as children spend more time typing or touching screens, they spend less time outdoors or engaging in physical activity. Research has also found that children and teens may eat less when watching TV or playing video games. As a result, we observed an increase in obesity rates in children and adolescents.

While children are clearly interested in watching various programs, playing video games, and using app-based technology, it is important for parents to ensure that their children are spending time outdoors and getting adequate physical activity. Take your child to play outside. If the weather is good, you can play outdoor games with your children. You can play games like “hide and seek” or pick up a glove and ball and play catch or throw a frisbee around the park. Your kids will enjoy the extra time they spend with you, and exercise and time outdoors will help them burn off energy and sleep better.

Pros: Technology encourages positive social connections and support

  • Connection method

Technology is known to connect people. Allows positive interaction and communication between companions and peers. You can connect and make friends with like-minded people who share the same interests.

  • Improved multitasking

Studies show that using technology helps young children multitask more efficiently. While you can never fully focus on one area when multitasking, students can learn to listen and write to take notes or other multitasking activities that can help them succeed in the future.

  • Improved visual-spatial development

Spatial development can be greatly enhanced when technologies such as video games are used to support learning for students and children. Practicing visuospatial skills with video games can be a great way to improve your skills. Visual-spatial skills are needed for a variety of things, such as reading maps, puzzles, and more.

  • Learn with fun

Content also has a big impact. The content children are exposed to affects their general well-being. Shows like “Mickey Mouse Club” or “Dora the Explorer” are thought-provoking and increase vocabulary in young children. This will later lead to better communication skills and common sense in everyday situations. Children will feel confident in expressing their thoughts and opinions and communicating with their peers. This will help them develop social skills.

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