HomeBlogTechnology, Modern Media, and Today’s Kids

Technology, Modern Media, and Today’s Kids

How times have changed from the time we were kids! Books are slowly being replaced by laptops and tablets while handwriting skills are also being replaced by typing skills! As technology continues to advance, our kids become more and more exposed to modern communication methods and barely a school student nowadays can do without a cell-phone! So, is this a good thing or bad? Read on…

Kids today depend on the media and technology for practically everything from their communication needs to information and knowledge. Modern media trends has also introduced lots of machines, portable or hand-held devices and gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks together with all the fancy accessories, add-ons and what-nots. These gadgets are not just communication tools but they also play their part in kids’ overall style factor, either because they really want it or they happen to feel the pressure of not having what their peers have.

A wide open platform

The thing about smartphones and all other internet-friendly devices is that they place the goings-on of the world, both the good and the bad, in the palm of a kid’s hands, literally! Any child who is able to read may easily stumble upon websites and material that their parents and teachers would rather shield them from till they’re much older!

Media’s effects on kids are not to be under-estimated. It is capable of influencing young minds like a giant remote control. While it does have its share of pros, parents still need to approach this issue with caution.

Studies have shown that certain groups of kids are prone to act out violently/ aggressively because of media influences. Although some of them do fall into the unfortunate category of sexually-abused victims or those who are exposed to domestic violence, you’d be surprised to find that some seemingly calm and normal children are more deeply influenced by what they see and hear on TV than one can imagine. Experts sometimes term these cases as ticking timebombs, for we never know when a kid will be pushed over the edge to act out what they have been learning and observing.

Watching too much television and spending too much time on the internet also takes children further away from schoolwork and homework, crippling them academically. Without supervision or proper screenings, violent acts as observed in movies about rape; murder; suicide and also questionable video games can influence young minds in such ways that may be difficult to reverse. Things become even worse when they’re accompanied with profanity which happens to be on the rise now among young kids.

Children who pass time glued to the television or computer are also at a higher risk of developing obesity, seeing that inactivity is a major factor when slumped in front of the TV or PC.

The negative effects of modern, aggressive advertisements

Kids are often drawn to commercials and most commercials are known to plant seeds of thoughts into impressionable young minds about what they should be buying, using, eating, etc, as opposed to what they might actually need. They create trends to follow and superficial images to which kids are easily drawn to, While the ultimate goals are always to sell their products, the whole thing often leads to young kids yearning to ‘fit into the mould’, so to speak. This may even lead to severe lack of self esteem in many young kids and also health problems like bulimia / anorexia. Modern, fashion magazines are also to blame for their glossy covers and pages showcasing models with so-called “perfect” bodies that teens idolize and work towards, while of course, compromising on health.

Dangers of the internet

The internet, with all its plus points, have unfortunately also become a haven for criminals who can easily operate and carry out heinous crimes undercover! The recent case of a foreign pediaphile operating in our country is just one such example and there are many more way things can go horribly wrong, such as via inappropriate exposure to explicit material. The Internet doesn’t have a secure connection to stop porn viewing, therefore kids / teens who unintentionally log online for other purposes, might come across these accidentally and will in most cases, develop an interest to go back to that portal. This in turn can push them into being sexually active at an early age, or end up disrespecting the idea of commitment in the future.

On the other hand…

Studies have shown that children who have computers in their rooms, did academically well seeing that the Internet served as a way to keep them interested in assignments, projects and homework. The two main factors to be concerned here are:

  • Distraction from friends via social media chatting while using the PC
  • The temptation to divert one’s attention to Youtube, facebook, Twitter or worse, forbidden websites!

Close parental monitoring is the secret key here. While no parent wants to appear like they’re micro-managing their kid, parents do still need to be fully alert of the goings on at the study table and conduct impromptu checks besides building and keeping good communication going with their children.

  • Social networking sites give teens a platform to interact with friends and connect with others in a risk-free setting, although that shouldn’t allow Internet time to be so flexible. Screen your kids’ online friends like you would their real-life ones.
  • Television too can be an educational tool if used wisely and when supervised by parents. Educational shows are constantly streaming on the television, where kids and young adults can learn a lot from them.
  • Print media is a good way of being well-informed about what goes on around the world, where it can develop a teen’s reading skills as well, seeing that reading is a dying habit among the young.

As a parent it would be up to you to decide if today’s technology and modern media is a boon or a bane. Children need to be constantly nurtured mentally and spiritually to be kept on the right track. If parents do not wish to see their kids becoming obsessed with an idea or mentally deteriorating while suffering academically, then it is important that they maintain good relationship and communication with their growing kids and keep tabs on their goings on and influences, so that they can still be checked when the need arises.

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