How Technology Affects Children’s Development
The internet, computers, smartphones and other technologies have drastically improved our access to information and entertainment. However, what’s their impact on early childhood development? What are the pros and cons? Is too much screen time really bad for kids?
How technology affects children’s development
Too much screen time especially during the children’s early years will surely have an influence on their learning, cognitive capacity and rapid brain development. After all, their early years is when crucial neural connections are formed and the core brain architecture is being built. In other words, their early years are a vulnerable period where a little push or pull can have a huge impact on their childhood and beyond.
For example, the persistent notifications while using a computer, tablet or smartphone can affect a child’s ability to concentrate. Every now and then those notifications divert the child’s attention and even make him/her feel that there’s always something urgent to check up on. Perhaps as an adult you’ve also experienced that. There’s always that sense of urgency and constant fight for your attention and through the years, you find it more and more difficult to focus (such as it’s getting hard to read a long article or finish a novel).
Aside from diverting the child’s attention and affecting his/her ability to focus, technology also takes away time from physical play and rich face-to-face interaction. Instead of spending time communicating with people around them or interacting with various objects and the environment, they spend that valuable time on the screen. Note that screen time is two dimensional and there’s not much sensory experience into it. As a result, their brains get deprived of learning from play and active exploration.
There have been studies which might have conflicting results and conclusions about the impact of technology on early childhood development. What’s consistent and clear though is that the early years play a huge and even a permanent role on how the children will develop. It’s crucial that as parents we keep an eye on where our children spend their time. This way, we can help them on their proper development as well as provide them with rich experiences through a nourishing and supportive environment.