Youth & Technology
Over the last two decades technology has grown at a tremendously fast rate and continues to progress rapidly. Today’s children are presented with technology at a young age; they essentially do not know a world that is not electronically connected or without digital gadgets.
While technology has offered many benefits to society, it is hard to deny that there have been some negative consequences as well. Children have been profoundly impacted as it is likely hard for them to envision a day without having cell phones, iPods, iPads, cable TV, Internet, video game consoles or any other ‘on-demand’ technology.
As mobile gadgets continue to emerge, this is helping shape the future of society, and the effects on children has been profound. This availability of technology has both positive and negative effects on children.
Technology can have an empowering effect, and in this respect, can be an advantage to children. It also encourages them to create newer and better innovations. Many of today’s technological progresses cause reason for excitement, and future generations are likely to grasp harder onto the power of technology, empowering them to create and develop.
When computers first were sold on the consumer market, in many ways they were a novelty, however today computers are serious teaching tools. Many of today’s products, both hardware and software, are designed for both fun and learning which creates a terrific dynamic and excites kids to learn; this can be valuable in terms of developmental learning. Technology provides children with tools they can utilize to solve problems and find information, thus giving them a solid ability to learn independently.
Other items, such as video or PC games, are great ways for kids to collaborate and learn how to work as a team. With online games, both through traditional Internet connections, and now through innovations such as the Microsoft Kinect, kids can practice teambuilding and collaboration.
Technology is here to stay. Children today will be the leaders of tomorrow and technology provides the foundation for children to plan and progress. Using technological gadgets and creations help prepare them for an undeniably technically charged future.
Technology may not theoretically cause health problems in children, but overuse and focus on gadgets can lead to unhealthy habits. For instance, while certain exceptions do exist, most gadgets keep children sedentary and moving around a lot less; this can lead to obesity and other health problems.
Another negative effect of technology on children could be the fact it has created a society that sometimes has a tendency to lack patience. Due to the rapid availability of most anything that can be sent or obtained over a computer network, kids today are learning the art of instant gratification; this may not be such a good thing. There is an old adage that indicates how patience is a virtue, however as time progresses, this quality seems less and less emphasized. This can lead to unrealistic expectations as children age into adults.
Gadgets also have a tendency to be time consuming and this can take away from other activities such as schoolwork, exercise, or other team-oriented activities. For instance, video games of yesteryear used to be short and sweet, but today’s games can take weeks to complete. Social networks also tend to eat up lots of hours which can pass by without realization until it is too late.
The negative effects should not suggest that technology should be eliminated from a lifestyle, as the future lies with technology and it is vital that children understand how to use it and integrate it into their daily lives. That being said, moderation is the key. Parents and teachers can use technology’s benefits, and strive to minimize the negative aspects. Children who are taught moderation can easily live the best of both worlds, and in the process be equipped to succeed as productive and technically savvy adults.
The Internet is a great place to get information, connect with friends, play games and more. But there are some dangers:
- Cyber bullying
In this section, you’ll learn more about the dangers of the internet, and how to stay safe when you’re online.
The buzz words
Here are some words that you should be aware of when you go online:
|Blog:||An online journal with photos and videos.|
|Chat room:||A website that allows people to send instant messages to each other.|
|Hacking:||Using a computer to steal private information.|
|Cookie:||An invisible file that is placed on a computer when a website is visited.|
|ISP:||A short-form for Internet Service Provider, which is a company that provides users access to the Internet.|
|Malware:||Any kind of harmful computer program.|
|Spam:||Junk mail that is sent to many people at once.|
|Virus:||A harmful computer programs that damages computers, corrupts and steals data Viruses can be sent to users through email, or downloaded from websites.|
Here are just a few of the risks you take when you go online:
Cyber bullying means using a computer or cell phone to hurt or scare another person. Here are some examples:
Flaming means bugging people in online games. A player might call other players names or say mean things about them in a game.
Staying safe – Here are some tips for staying safe online:
Online gaming can be fun as long as it’s balanced with life offline.
Playing games online can be a lot of fun, and it’s a really popular hobby for lots of kids (and adults, too).
Here are some things to know about online gaming:
- Online gaming can be fun as long as it’s balanced with life offline.
- Online gaming can be a problem if someone feels like they can’t stop playing, or their gaming is getting in the way of school, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family offline.
Stopping or cutting back
It can be hard to cut back or stop gaming, especially when it’s a big part of your life. Still, with the right help, you can get your gaming under control.
Here are some ways to make it easier to stop or cut back:
- Talk to a parent or guardian. They can help you come up with gaming limits (for example, gaming only two hours a day) and stick to them.
- Move your computer. A parent can help you by moving your computer or game console into the living room (instead of keeping it in your bedroom). When you play somewhere busy, you won’t get so drawn into the game.
- Pull the plug. After a game, unplug or turn off your computer or game console.
- Mix it up. To avoid getting too attached to any one game, try playing a few different ones.
- Get some Zs. Log off at least a half an hour before bedtime so you don’t have trouble falling asleep.
- Prioritize. Before you play a game, make sure you get your homework done. Eating healthy and getting some exercise everyday are important too.
- Have fun offline. It’s easier to balance offline life with gaming if you can find ways to have fun when you’re not playing. Spend time with your family and friends, and get into new hobbies. Is there something you always wanted to try?
- Talk it out. Sometimes kids game a lot because it’s a way to get away from their problems. If there’s something in your life that’s bothering you try talking about it with someone you trust, like a friend or family member.
If your parent is gaming online a lot
Having a parent or guardian who spends a lot of time playing online games can be really tough.
Here are some things you might be going through:
- You might see your parent less, or they might not pay as much attention to you.
- You might feel lonely, hurt, or like no one understands.
- Your parent might seem moody, upset, or sad.
Because you love your parent, you might try to get them to stop or cut back on their gaming. If you are wondering how to help your parent, here are some things to keep in mind:
- It may take time for your parent to realize that their gaming is hurting their relationship with you.
- You can’t say or do anything to make them see they have a problem if they don’t see it.
- Just like you didn’t cause your parent’s gaming problem, you also can’t make them get better.
- If your parent isn’t ready to spend less time gaming, the best thing you can do is take care of your own feelings and safety.
Here are some things you can do to take care of yourself:
- Spend time with friends or other family members. This will help you feel less lonely.
- Do things you enjoy. Doing things you know will cheer you up, like playing your favorite sport, or writing in your journal, will help you feel better about yourself and your family’s situation.
- Talk to someone you trust. Talking to someone you think will understand, like another relative, might help you figure out good ways to help yourself and your parent. Remember: no matter what, you deserve love and care.
Imagine you’re in a bedroom, and there is a large window that overlooks the street… the curtains are open, so that people passing by outside can see in. How does it feel? You probably want to close the curtains, don’t you? The Internet is like a bedroom that people can see into. Sometimes people can see what you think is private. That’s why it’s important to be careful about what you do online.