Should parent let their young children use mobile phone and
USE OF MOBILE DEVICES AND TABLETS/IPADS BY CHILDREN 4
Shouldparent let their young children use mobile phone and tablets/ipads?
Today,children are exposed to new technologies before even making it totheir preschool classroom. Considerable number children in the U.S.have access to mobile devices and various technological devices suchas tablets, iPads and computers. Most parents purchase these devicesfor their children while they are still at tender ages and train themhow to use them. In fact, Saracho and Spodek (2013) points out that a majority of children under the age of 12 are the fastest growinggroup of mobile technology users, and the figure has continued todouble in the recent past. As a result, technological companies, suchas Microsoft, have introduced mobile computing devices for children,which they use to communicate, study, and play games. Although thenew technology and the use of these devices by children have provento be effective learning tools, they may have adverse physical andeducational effects on children when used inappropriately. For thisreason, parents should take control or monitor the use of thesetechnological devices by their young children.
Theinvention of the new technologies has been strongly associated with aconsistent fear regarding the negative impact the new devices have onchildren. Many pediatricians emphasize that parents should not exposeyoung children who are not yet cognitively developed past theirpre-operational stage to technological devices because they may beexposed physical and health development problems. Increased childrentime on Smartphone, computers and tablets, could expose them toharmful health impacts on their backs, eyes and wrist among others.In fact, there has been much evidence that correlates obesity inchildren with excessive time spent in front of televisions andcomputers. Therefore, parents should heed this warning by limitingtime spent on technological devices by their young ones to controlthe risk of repetitive strain injuries on their children.
Studieshave established that excessive use of computers, tablets and phonesaffects children’s social development. Children who use thesedevices to surf the internet, play games and music by the age ofseven years, suffer from withdrawal in social interactions. Thisaffects a child’s social interaction with family, peers, communitynetworks and school, which plays a crucial role in the child’sdevelopment of interpersonal activities. This has raised concerns asreports suggest that a sizeable number of children from the age of 10years use computers in for social isolation. In most cases, thesechildren lock themselves in the bedroom to access the internet andplay games. Indeed, an in-depth analysis on social impacts shows thatchildren spend most on their time on social networks such as,Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook among others. Children who spendmore time online experience greater decline in social involvement andincreased feelings of loneliness and depression.
Educationaltechnology centered on digital devices such as mobile phones,computers, television, iPods, tablets and robotics have wide range ofnegative impacts. Researchers have observed that the devices mayaffect performance when used inappropriately, as well as, affectlearning and development. However, parent should play a major role inprotecting their children from inappropriate content in these devicesat an early age. They should seek to identify good practices thatwill incorporate digital technologies in their setting, andpositively exploit the technologies to support their children’slearning and development. It is also crucial for educators and thesociety to raise awareness of the potential harm caused by theoveruse of these technologies. This will help to discourage thepassive use of technological devices, and encourage the need forbalanced social activities in child development.
Spodek,B., & Saracho, O. (2013). Handbookof research on the education of young children.New York: Routledge.