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The Negative Aspects of Technology

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The rapid revolution in technology affected our lifestyle drastically and led us to believe that our lives have changed for the better. Now communication with our distant friends or relatives, buying branded products or goods on-the-go and conducting business meeting is possible with just a single click. We believe that all these changes have made our lives more comfortable than before. However, there is a critical concern that is eating up most parents from inside, i.e., whether technology is affecting their children for the good or worse? What are some of the side effects of technology? What are we to do about the tech overload happening right now to students and everyone else? The minds of children are like blank pages. As we know that the generation of this era has a high level of dexterity.

Their elevated cleverness allows them to fill those pages very fast with the provided information. Such information can be extracted not only from books and other educational materials but also from games, TV shows and texting. A limited use of gadgets can be quite useful for children as it will allow them to be up to date with the current technology. However, the overuse of these advancements can really hamper or even damage their development in the personal growth, communication and educational department. Though we can’t deny the endowments that the current era of advancement has provides us with, but like any other thing, we cannot deny the fact that there is always two sides to everything: Good and Bad. Let’s take a look at the top 4 ways that overuse of technology has influenced our children in an adverse manner: 1. Elevated Exasperation

These days, children indulge themselves in internet, games or texting. These activities have affected their psyche negatively, consequently leading to increased frustration. Now they get frustrated whenever they are asked to do anything while playing games or using internet. For instance, when their parents ask them to take the trash out, they get furious instantly. This behavior has shattered many parent-children relationships. 2. Deteriorated Patience

Patience is a very precious virtue and its scarcity could deteriorate a person’s Will. Determination is a necessity that comes with patience and without it no individual can survive the hardships of life. According to studies, tolerance in children is vanishing quite increasingly due to the improper use of technology. For example, children get frustrated quickly when they surf internet and the page they want to view takes time to load. 3. Declining Writing Skills

Due to the excessive usage of online chatting and shortcuts, the writing skills of today’s young generation have declined quite tremendously. These days, children are relying more and more on digital communication that they have totally forgot about improving their writing skills. They don’t know the spelling of different words, how to use grammar properly or how to do cursive writing. 4. Lack of Physical Interactivity

No one can deny the fact that the advancement of technology has produced a completely unique method of interaction and communication. Now, more and more people are interacting with others through different platforms like apps, role-playing online games, social networks, etc. This advancement has hampered the physical interaction skills of many children. Due to that they don’t know how to interact with others when they meet them in-person or what gesture they should carry. The bottom line is that while technology is a necessity to survive and flourish in this age of advancement, however, parents should control their children by keeping an eye on its excessive usage.

Negative Effects of Technology on Children
March 21, 2010
According to a New York Times article this January, the average kid, ages 8-18, spends over 7 ½ hours a day using technology gadgets equaling 2 ½ hours of music, almost 5 hours of tv and movies, three hours of internet and video games, and just 38 minutes of old fashioned reading according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which adds up to 75 hours a week! These statistics are not just mere numbers; they are a reflection of the way our society is heading. There is a direct correlation of amount of hours spent with gadgets and obesity, poor grades, impatience, violence, and a loss of family interest.

Obesity
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in a study in 2004, 16% of children (over 9 million) that are between the ages of 6 -19 years old are overweight or obese, a number that has tripled since 1980 (mostly due to electronic usage). Being overweight can bring with it great health concerns. Many of these children have a good chance of developing Type II Diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, social discrimination, high cholesterol and/or blood pressure. Also, according to a Stanford University of Medicine study, elementary students consume 20% of their daily calorie intake while watching television, which usually includes unhealthy snacks, largely due to advertisements for junk food and boredom. Coincidently, kids are not burning off any of these calories while they are plopped in front of the television.

Academics
Another area of focus is that children who spend too much time in front of the television or playing video games tend to have worse grades than those students who are active and involved in extracurricular activities. Studies have shown that since they are so used to multi-tasking they have trouble focusing all of their attention on schoolwork. Studies performed by Dr. Rosen at Cal State showed that 16-18 year olds perform 7 tasks, on average, at one time like texting on their cell phone, sending instant messages while checking Facebook with the television on. “I worry that young people won’t be able to summon the capacity to focus and concentrate when they need to,” said Vickey Rideout, a Vice President at the Kaiser Foundation.

Laziness
Impatience goes hand in hand with the laziness kids are starting to develop. Due to the ease of access to the internet kids now expect immediate responses and rely on the internet to give them all of the answers. They expect answers before they take time to think about solutions. According to an article in the New York Times this January, new technology is creating mini-generation gaps and are most visible in communication and entertainment choices. Dr. Rosen said that the newest generations, unlike their older peers, will expect an instant response from everyone they communicate with, and won’t have the patience for anything less. “They’ll want their teachers and professors to respond to them immediately, and they will expect instantaneous access to everyone, because after all, that is the experience they have had growing up,” he said. This is a common problem of kids of this generation and kids are losing the value of learning from their mistakes. Family Life

Families are being hurt as well by all of the new technology. When a group of 4-6 year olds were asked to choose between watching TV and spending quality time with their fathers, 54% of them would rather watch TV. Also, according to the same survey reported by the A.C. Nielson Company the average parent spends three and a half minutes A WEEK having meaningful conversations with their children. Technology is creating a generation gap that makes parents feel as though they can’t relate to what their kids are doing.

Violence
Another controversial topic circling right now is the amount of violence kids are exposed to while playing video games or watching television. Many TV shows now posses poor role models and expose children to things that they may be too young to see while video games allow kids to play with fake guns. The same survey by A.C. Neilson Company reported that by the time a child finishes elementary school they will have already witnessed 8,000 murders. In the USA an average of 20-25 violent acts are shown in children’s television programs each hour. A significant association was found between the amount of time spent watching television during adolescence, with its exposure to violence, and the likelihood of subsequent antisocial behavior, such as threatening aggression, assault or physical fights resulting in injury, and robbery. Young children are more easily impressionable. have a harder time distinguishing between fantasy and reality. cannot easily discern motives for violence learn by observing and imitating.

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