Home News Jack Abramoff Family Scholarship Measures the Impact of Technology on Children

Jack Abramoff Family Scholarship Measures the Impact of Technology on Children

Jack Abramoff
Credit: Bartosz Budrewicz

Jack Abramoff Asks If Screen Time Is Really Harming Your Kids

“Advanced technology is truly among the big wonders of our era, offering our children a massive source of education and entertainment. Unfortunately, it does come with some health implications of its own. Increased screen time could be quite dangerous for your children, and parents should consider this fact before handing over their smartphones.” according to Jack Abramoff, founder of The Jack Abramoff Family Scholarship.

“As you set screen time limits and encourage your children to put their tablets away, be sure to form an excellent example for them by doing the same.” acc Try to control your own screen time too. It’ll help you create a healthier home environment centralized around non-tech-related activities for a better bonding experience. All the best to you

Most children today are plugged into their smartphones, tablets, and TVs, well before they learn to ride a bike. The use of technology can be healthy, as long as they don’t start obsessing over it. For example, kindergarteners can get help learning counting and the alphabet on their smartphone, grade schoolers can access educational apps, and teens can learn new skills on the internet

Although the negative impact of technology is a hot-button issue on the news and public forums, it does leave many of us wondering: is it really all that bad?

One study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the average 8 to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day consuming all kinds of media. Older children take it one step further with around 11 hours per day glued to their screens. If you do the math, it becomes clear that children are spending more time with their little gadgets than they are in school.

This trend doesn’t seem to stop with age. One survey found teenagers admitting that they send thousands of text messages every month, stay up all night scrolling through their feeds on social media, and several hours playing video games. This habit gets more intense with the passage of time as technology becomes even more accessible.

Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to everything, and technology is no exception.

Negative Effects

Harms Attention Spans

The most concerning problem with the use of technology is its impact on attention span. Research shows that technology may actually rewire children’s brains. This is because a child’s brain is still developing, making it more malleable than an adult’s brain. Exposure to technology may make it difficult for children to focus on activities that require reading, attention, and imagining. 

Privacy and Safety Concerns

As technology advances and brings high levels of interconnectedness, we must also consider the effects it will have on children’s privacy and safety. Children in these environments can be exposed to various degrees of bullying that can have lasting a impact on their emotional and social development. Cybersecurity continues to be a big risk for children because it’s not always perfect.

Hackers can utilize vulnerabilities in technology to harass children and invade their privacy.

Mental Health Concerns

Addicting to technology has coincided with a rise in mental health issues. Among these, depression is a key problem that has been correlated with the increasing usage of technology. The evidence continues to point out the link between depression and social media. Mental health disorders often exacerbate feelings of anxiety, stress, and disrupt sleep patterns. 

Falling Grades

As their attention spans take a hit, so too does their performance in the classroom. The fact that their brains are constantly used to switching between tasks – which leads to reduced attention spans – means that they have a harder time focusing on any one task at a time.

Reduces Quality of Sleep

Studies have found that children who use their phones before going to bed are more likely to suffer from low quality of sleep at night. Sleep is very important for children because it promotes their growth, helps with healthy eating, improves their attention spans, and boosts learning. Sleep deprivation, in turn, invites a host of negative issues that can translate into poorer mental health. 

Diminishes Social Skills

It becomes difficult for children to develop a healthy social life. Many children prefer to have conversations over text or social media as opposed to talking in-person. Even when children are spending time together, they are more likely to switch to their smartphones than actually participating in activities.  

Positive Effects

Improves Their Problem Solving Skills

Technology provides children with more problems, which allows them to make decisions to solve those problems. Furthermore, games on computers and smartphones further provide children with more problems solving opportunities. This essentially prepares them for life down the road. If students use technology wisely, they can reap big rewards. 

Develops Future Tech Leaders

It is a well-known fact that the future lies in many of today’s emerging technologies. To become successful in the years to come, children will have to invest in their technical skills. One of the biggest advantages of being exposed to technology as a child is the fact that they will find it easy to transition into more high-paying jobs.

Improves Learning

Technology has been integrated into the classroom to improve the learning experiences for kids. Innovations such as document cameras, 3D printers, and smartboards have now been incorporated into most lessons to improve collaboration and engage students in the learning process. With increased collaboration in the classroom, students and teachers have more opportunities for meaningful project-based learning. 

Improves Multitasking

Mounting evidence shows that technology helps kids become more effective with multitasking. The only downside is that multitasking diminishes their ability to properly focus on one area. However, multitasking is beneficial because children find it easy to listen and type to make notes and participate in other multitasking activities that can help them become more successful in the future. 

Improves Spatial Development

Spatial development is significantly improved in children who spend more time playing video games. In simpler terms, spatial skills let children track objects that are moving at a faster speed.  More experienced gamers are better at filtering out irrelevant visual information and quickly detect changes in briefly flashing visual arrays.

These skills are useful for tasks that require ingenuity and creativity, whether it includes chemistry, engineering, or driving in a straight line.

Helping Children Manage Technology

When used appropriately and thoughtfully, technology can improve daily life. Treat technology as you would any other tool in your child’s life. The same parenting principles apply in virtual environments as they do in the real world. Set limits to technology because your kids need and expect them. Know what platforms your children are using, who your children are interacting with, and what sites they visit on the web.

Parents and teachers can promote the use of educational apps that help with academia such as math, science, and vocabulary.