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The Digital Challenge–How Technology Influences Children’s Social Behaviour

Digital devices have become a major part of our daily lives. Especially kids are influenced by the digital world a lot as they are more occupied by digital devices like computers, smartphones and tablets. 

A digital device can assist children improve their academic, cognitive, and psychomotor skills. However, continuous use 

But if young minds indulge into them more than a certain limit then these devices lead to lack of physical activity, poor interpersonal skills, and communication issues.

A responsible digital parenting can save your kids from the negative effects of the digital world.

Digital Devices– A part of Every Home

According to research, approximately 96% of Americans own a television, and 94% of youngsters aged 3-18 have internet access via computer or smartphone. 

A 2019 national survey found that 53% of children have a mobile device by age 11. 

Parents should be cautious of their children’s use of technology and its possible effects are both positive and negative.

Screen Time Stat of Kids

By the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children aged 8 to 12 in the United States spend an average of 4-6 hours per day viewing or using screens, while teenagers can spend up to 9 hours. 

In this screen time kids might be exposed to the following type of content;

 

How Technology Influences Kids’ Social Behaviour?

Technology has both positive and negative impacts on kids’ social behavior. Its optimal use can play a positive role in the improvement of kids’ social skills and behavior. 

Positive Impacts

  • Strong Bonding and Communication

Technology can help children connect with distant family members and friends, promoting bonding and community. Playing online games allows children to communicate with peers and develop teamwork skills.

  • Self-expression

Online sharing can boost children’s confidence. Individuals can develop interpersonal skills and gain exposure to diverse opinions.

  • Creativity and exploration of interests

Technology stimulates creativity in numerous ways, including the ability to learn new skills through a variety of apps for people of all ages. 

Children can explore many areas of interest, such as learning to play a musical instrument, creative writing, and beginner programmes relating to various subjects.

  • Building Confidence  

Children with social anxiety disorders find in-person social interactions challenging. Internet forums and social media platforms offer a more comfortable environment for them to practice social skills and gain confidence in social communication.

Online social support groups allow kids to share what they’ve learned and receive support and advice that may not be accessible in their local community.

  • Diverse Friend Circle

In the online world people belong to different backgrounds and races. So if kids communicate with them the barrier of race will also be removed and kids will learn empathy and respect for everyone regardless of how they look or where they belong.

Negative Impacts

Lack of Real Life Interactions

Increased usage of technology may hinder children’s social development. This can cause more youngsters to feel socially awkward, withdrawn, shy, or scared by real life social interactions. 

They may lack communication skills with peers and adults. Technology might hinder children’s ability to acquire social skills, leading to limited opportunities for practice.

Effects on Relationships

Children who spend a lot of time alone on the internet may lose interest in socializing with their parents and peers. Many kids prefer virtual reality to physical reality on their devices.

Poor Social Skills

Greater screen time and dependence on technology can result in shorter attention spans. This decreased focus may lead to unreal desires for closeness or affection online, addictive behaviors interfering with schoolwork or other pursuits, and overall difficulties interacting with people in person.

As youngsters become accustomed to conversing in a virtually secret manner using the computer as a buffer, they could grow more and more uneasy with direct communication. 

It can also impair their capacity to perceive nonverbal signs such as physical expressions and facial emotions.

Problem in Conflict Resolution

Kids who are more indulgent into screens have less interactions in person. They face lesser real life circumstances and as a result their skills for critical thinking and conflict resolution don’t develop properly.

Cyberbullying and Depression

Online interactions can also result in cyberbullying and online harassment. This causes depression in kids and affects their interactions with the people online and offline.

Digital Parenting– Resolution of Negative Impacts of Technology

Digital parenting is a solution to save your kids from the negative impacts of technology.

Here are some ways you can consider to get over this problem;

Communication with Kids

Talk to your kids about the digital world. Listen to them attentively about what they see online and their experiences in the digital world. This helps to make you aware of the online behavior of your kids.

Educate Kids

Teach kids about screen time management. Tell them about cyberbullying, identification of fake news and scams. By educating your kids you can save them from getting affected by cyberbullying and its effects.

Parental Control Applications

Parental control softwares is the digital solution to the digital problems. They help you to keep an eye on your kids’ activities online. You can sneak into their texts and social media applications as well. Management of screen time and app usage can also be tracked with the help of parental control apps.

Conclusion

Technology has evolved the lives of people and added many conveniences for communication, learning and accessing the information. 

But too much involvement in the screen and ignoring the physical world can lead to several health issues like effects on eyesight, brain structure etc. 

Beside this, the social and cognitive skills of kids also get affected as these screens keep them at a distance from the real world which affect their social relations. 

Digital parenting can be the most useful solution to make your kids use the technology in a healthy way.

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