Western Courier

Are children using to much technology?

Karolina Orszulak, Courier Staff

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The next time you go out to eat with your friends, family, or roommates, pay extra attention to the people around you. Most importantly pay attention to the children with their families.

One thing I noticed when I am in a family setting and see children of all ages, is that they always have one specific thing in front of them and that is a phone. It’s either a phone or even an iPad. You may be thinking that phones aren’t such a bad thing, so why am I even writing about this? Phones aren’t necessarily the bad thing, it’s the age of the child holding and playing with the phone that is the bad part. I have gone out to see children who are inaudible holding and controlling a phone before. So, the question is how young is too young to have and be able to use technology?

Growing up, my parents wanted me to have the best childhood I could have, and everyday I’m thankful for what I had. I didn’t have a phone or cool videos games before I could even talk and I am okay with that. Instead, I had an entire block full of kids that I played with every day. At least three parks were walking distance from my house. I would go there with all the kids in my neighborhood with just a ball and a bat. With those two things, we would have the most fun and stay there for hours just playing at the park. These simple memories as a child has helped me build long lasting friendships, helped me stay active, and healthy.

From my experiences from babysitting or just trying to play with my younger nieces and nephews, all they really want to do is play video games and stay inside. What I learned was due to the social isolation and constant need to be using technologies these kids didn’t have much social skills or energy. Things like this can definitely be avoided but you must start at an early age.

Parents use their iPhones or iPads as a way to calm down their children starting from an early age. So when a child starts throwing a fit or running around the store, the parents hand over some sort of technology in hopes that that will calm down their child and save them from humiliation. When children do something negative, they are rewarded with a positive thing, and parents should change their expectations. If a child can barely talk but they are able to navigate a phone, then that is an issue.

Obviously not all technology is bad. Using technology to help children learn to read or write is completely acceptable; or even using technology as a form of reward when a child has completed their homework. With all that comes restrictions of how long the child has to use their technology. With that being said,

I do not think children under the age of 11 should have their own phone. There is so much to do at that young age that doesn’t involve technology that kids don’t know about. Encouraging them to go outside to play and put down technology will help them create better social skills and a healthy lifestyle.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Are children using to much technology?