Children today spend most of their time using technology without even realizing the effects of this issue. Kids must stop spending their time staring at screens in order to spend more time bonding with family and getting up and active.
This essay was written by a student in Katherine Cohen’s 7th-grade English class at Greenberg Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia. The students were assigned the task of writing a persuasive letter. Some of those letters have been revised by the students and submitted to be published in various Philadelphia media outlets.
How do we know when it is time to call it quits? How much is really too much? Children today spend most of their time using technology without even realizing the effects of this issue. Kids must stop spending their time staring at screens in order to spend more time bonding with family and getting up and active.
By now, you are probably wondering what the negative effects of technology are, which is what this letter focuses on. First of all, it is making kids obese. At Illinois State University, a recreation and kinesiology professor told over 700 children to wear pedometers in order to track the amount of time they spent using video games and television. As a result, he concluded that the childhood obesity was a common result because of most kids’ deficiency in exercise and an overload of time spent using various technologies. In addition, he stated that eating when watching television is very common and the ads shown on the TV most often show food advertisements that are unhealthy. In replacement of the time not being used properly, we must regain a healthy living style by exercising to stay fit and eating right.
Furthermore, kids are just too young. As studied by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 68 percent of children aged two and under are on screen media everyday. Just one example would be “Babies’ First TV.” Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics disadvise this mainly for two reasons. Number one being that the development of a baby’s brain is still undergoing. When a baby’s brain is exposed to overuse of television, doctors still question the exact results, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, spokesman for APP made clear. The second reason is that child-parent bonding is getting cut out by technology, which concerns the APP. However, these are just some effects of this issue.
Finally, one last reason is because technology is starting to change the emotions of children. As stated by Stanford’s Mann, video games are building up anxiety that then turns into anger. One example is the Ohio teen, Daniel Petric, who killed his mother at the age of sixteen. His act was caused by the frustration he felt when his mother took away his “Halo 3” video game. Stanford’s Mann also states how screen time on computers and other devices can lead to mixing up real life and fantasy.
It is evident that children need to use their time more wisely instead of wasting it, whether by playing on an Xbox or texting on an iPhone 24 hours a day. The effects of this issue can lead to three problems in particular. It can cause obesity, changes in the development of children’s brains, and emotional instability.
Some might ask, “Well what can we as concerned parents do?” Here are some options. Parents should start by removing the TV located in their child’s bedroom. Getting rid of “Brain drain” technology is prescribed by both Doctor Rosen and Rowan. This way, parents can monitor the content being seen by their children and limit the time their children use their technology.
Another way is to implement “tech breaks.” This technique can be used in school, at home, and just about anywhere. Kids should put their devices face down at family dinners or during class. If the tech stays untouched for at least 15 minutes, the children should be allowed to have one- to two-minute tech breaks, during which they can use their technological device.
In this day and age, technology is all around us and it seems impossible to avoid using it. However, it is clear that the overuse of technology can have serious negative effects. In order to prevent these effects, parents need to realize the imperativeness of teaching their children to improve their self-control and limit their use of technology. By instilling the proper values in the next generation and generations to come, these serious negative effects can be avoided and the world can be made a safer and better place.
“Kids and Technology: The Developmental Health Debate,” by Stephanie Buck, Mashable
“Your Wired Kid,” by Annie Murphy Paul, Good Housekeeping
“Kids and Tech: How Much Is Too Much?” by Jennifer LeClaire, TechNewsWorld