Technology has become an inseparable part of our lives. I use it every day, and I believe it is almost impossible to avoid. Cell phones, tablets, and personal computers are also affecting the lives of our children. My son is only four years old, but he already knows how to operate a smartphone. The children of my friends are just as proficient with mobile technology as my son, and perhaps it may be an issue. The use of technology by toddlers is an important topic for me because the rate at which the technology is spreading is high, it can have negative effects on children’s development but if its use is supervised the child may benefit from it.
I grew up in a family that did not use a lot of gadgets. We had a personal computer, but I was not allowed to use it until I turned 10, and then it was only under the supervision of my parents. The technology was expensive, and children could accidentally break the hardware or delete important files if they were not monitored. Over the years, new gadgets became affordable. Cellphones, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are now extremely common, and their older models are often given to children as presents. Most of my friends gave their children older phones so they could keep in touch with them. In fact, I do not know a child that does not have some sort of gadget.
As a mother, I am extremely concerned about the development of my son Jaden and the way technology can have a negative effect on him. He is only four years old, and when I gave him a smartphone as a present, I made sure to delete and disable the use of YouTube to prevent him from being distracted. I believe that children his age should spend the majority of their time socializing.
I first realized that technology might be a major problem for the development of children when my friend told me about her son’s use of their family tablet. She noticed that he became extremely attached to it and spent most of his day playing with various apps. She had to put a password on the tablet to stop him. I heard of worse cases on the news but thankfully never seen one in person.
However, I do not see technology as an issue on its own. It is the lack of monitoring that causes this type of behavior. When the use of technology is monitored by the parents, it is actually beneficial to the child and even the parent. After I disabled YouTube on my son’s phone, he became extremely familiar with the Android operating system, and his teachers have noticed how well he can excel in various technological tasks. It was also a great bonding tool for us. I can launch an educational program on a tablet and go through it with him. He is much more engaged when he can interact with the teaching process, and I feel like I am spending quality time with him.
Technology is spreading at an alarming rate, and the monitoring of its use by children could turn it from a negative influence to a positive one. When parents are either unable to control the use of technology by children or are unaware of its importance, toddlers can become obsessed with it and lose connection to the real world. I made sure that my son uses his phone sparingly and only for educational purposes. I hope that future generations will be more aware of how gadgets can affect their children. It may shape a better future for us all.