Tech Talk  

Kids and the internet

The development and growth of the internet and personal computing has resulted in many benefits to society;

There is, however, a growing concern among parents, health professionals, and child advocacy groups regarding the amount of time children spend on their digital devices.

The rapidly increasing usage of digital devices, such as computers, smart phones, game consoles and televisions has resulted in an alarming decline in physical activities, which many experts think may be contributing to the growing childhood obesity epidemic.

There is also much concern that excess digital usage may be having a negative impact on children's social and mental development, especially among younger children.

It's tempting to think that perhaps we're just over reacting due to some kind of a generational cultural bias, much like parents did when rock and roll hit the airwaves for the first time; however, mounting evidence would suggest otherwise.

Some of the most current research done on the impact of increasing exposure of children to digital media have suggested that children between the ages of 1-5 are most susceptible to potential developmental issues, while those between 5-18 are more susceptible to behavioral issues.

The studies all seem to conclude that increasing digital media exposure also has a potential negative impact on adaptive social skills, sleep patterns and behaviours as well. Interestingly, if your thinking these potential issues are only affecting children, think again.

The studies have shown that adults can also be negatively impacted by excessive exposure to digital media as well. In fact, the world health organization recently announced internet addiction as a disease. Excessive exposure to digital media can have a negative impact on both the life of our children and ourselves.

So, how do we mitigate the potential negative impacts of digital media exposure for our children? Health professionals, educators and child advocacy groups recommend that you limit your children use of digital devices to no more than one to two hours a day.

They also encourage you to use tools that allow you to limit exposure by limiting or restricting access based on time used. These are excellent recommendations that I also use with my own five children, and I can attest that they can be effective; however, in my experience, children learn best by example.

A wise man once said, feed a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and feed him for life.

The most effective way to limit your kids exposure to digital media is to lead by example and adhere to the recommendations yourself and spend more time one-on-one interacting with as a family.

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About the Author

Trevor Sharp is a computer-support specialist, and has been helping people with computing issues for more than 25 years.

Trevor lives in Kelowna with his wife and five kids, and owns and operates a mobile computer business providing on-site tech support for home and business customers.

Trevor is here to help your home or business with any computing issue,

Contact Info:

email: [email protected]

website: www.okanagancomputerservices.com

blog: www.okanagancomputerservices.com/blog

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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