Tech overuse is an issue

We live in a world where technology is available at your fingertips and many kids nowadays tend to be glued to their gadgets. At my niece’s birthday party this past weekend, I noticed a bunch of kids sitting on the couch playing some game on their tablets, iPads and iPhones instead of enjoying the party and having fun on the jumper like other kids. This made it clear to me that kids today depend on this little device as if they will never get enough.

By no means do I think these devices are all bad because they can be very useful at times. There are many applications that can be used for educational purposes, which means more efficient tools for parents to use when they are help with their child’s homework.

However, on the other hand, there have been studies released stating that ADHD has been on the rise and these devices for the most part are at fault and I can see why. Excessive use of these devices affects many aspects of the lives of our youth.

If a parent chooses to buy these devices for their child, they need to take control of the usage and put their foot down, but some do not know how to do this. It is important for parents to teach their children and have them understand that this little device is not their whole life. When these kids grow up, their childhood memories will be based on what level of Candy Crush they beat or how far they got on Plants vs. Zombies. This makes me sad because my childhood memories usually involved outside activities.

I have seen parents hand their phones to their unruly children just because it seemed easier to do instead of being a parent and rectifying the issue. Their first reaction is to reach for their phone and hand it to their child just because they do not want to deal with the tantrum. I have also seen children throw tantrums because they want their electronic device. Not all parents tend to use this tactic but most do. Parents also need to lead by example because children observe everything and if mom is glued to her phone then they will see that and think the same rule applies to them.

Most of these devices do not have parental controls and this can be an issue because parents will have no control as to what their child is watching. I have caught my niece and nephew many times wondering off to spend time on YouTube and they are mostly watching tutorials on how to beat levels on a game or enjoying videos of cats, but for those familiar with YouTube, there is a chance that they may end up lost in video land which can lead them to undesirable videos that are not meant for children.

The reason why these gadgets are so hard to pry out of the hands of children is because once they win or beat a level, their brain is rewarded with Dopamine, which gives them a sense of enjoyment so when it comes down to putting it down, they can’t. This can also be applied to adults and their usage of social media. This is why these devices are so addicting to children and even to some adults because they find solace in these screens.

What parents should do it teach their kids the dangers of the Internet and constantly monitor their usage. Since we live in a technology-based world, parents should be talking to their children about what issues they can encounter while browsing the web. They should focus on making sure their child knows how to balance their lives outside of technology so when they become adults they can learn how to coexist with technology instead of letting it control their lives.