Technology is the most important concept of our time. Children are being encouraged, from as young as primary school age, to learn how to write apps software and codes for computers. According to www.statista.com, tablet is the most common form of technology device children play games on, placing it at 87%. When you search online for children’s play ideas, things relating to apps, tablet and tech gadget tend to be on the top pages of search engines. A smart watch made the most popular children’s toy list for 2014, which shows you that even the most common item now has a tech approach in it.
Different brands, design and size of tablets, phones, iPods, computers, laptops and gadget mania are being sold to meet the demand of parents requesting the device for their children. This also helps ensure that every budget is being met from the most popular band to the less popular or no name brands. What this rant is saying is that parents can not avoid their children using technology but must identify the good, bad and ugly it’s use.
- Long distance Communication: technology has made long distance communication short distance communication. You can be in any part of the world and still be able to connect and see the person on the other side of the world.
- Research: has become easy with the search engines. You can search for any thing on the world wide web (www) and am sure you will get an answer. I observed some children asking the voice on their iPad, ‘Why does the fox cross the road?’ and I tell you, an answer was given. Although am not sure if the answer made sense. However, what this shows is that any research can be explored with the advent to technology.
- Accessibility to info: technology has made information to be at the finger tips of children. Children use technology gadget to get information on their favourite celebrities, school work and even families and friend. All that is needed is a Wi-Fi connection and a good enough tech gadget.
- Connection with family: Families use apps like Skype, Facetime, Go meeting, Instagram, Facebook etc to communicate and star in touch. Parent that have to work in different part of the world use technology to stay connect with their children, which can only be seen as a good thing. A large amount of grandparents are getting trained on how to use tablets and phones that will help them stay connected with their grandchildren.
- A type of punishment/reward: parents are using technology devices as punishment or consequential act to get children performing their day to day duties. Try taking a tech device from a teenager as a consequential action and see how well behaved that child will be.
- Parents Behaving Badly: parent get offended when schools confiscate children’s device as a method of managing school and class behaviour. However, some school have taken further steps by having a no phone policy statement included in their behaviour policy
- Invasive Images: children are taking invasive pictures of teachers and other children without getting their permission. This include uploading pictures of teachers and other children images to social media website without their prior knowledge. A school suspended a pupil for 2 days due to this act as the other child’s parent were not happy with the act.
- Head on incidents and bumping into others: this can be comical and yet dangerously serious. Children not keeping an eye on where they are going but rather on the device they have in their hands are prone to incidents such as this. Some have step off into the road or not heard a car coming when engrossed with their technological gadgets.
- Disruptive Learning Environment: this is not a nice sigh to behold. Teenagers, most especially can get very verbally abusive with a teacher trying to get between them and their hand held technology. Some further education, colleges and 6th form schools are also introducing a no phone policy into the classroom.
- In App Advertising: this is becoming really bad with free apps. It is understandable that these apps have to make some money, having giving the apps for free. However, some of these advertisement are adult only and should not be directed at apps that relate to children. An instance really got ugly when a 10 year old child watched free movies on a website and then click on an ad which lead to a porn website. The social service got and the parents had a lot of explaining to do. Installing a parental control can help bring this to zero chances.
- Sexting: this is such a distressing and devastating act that children are getting into. Sending nude and naked parts of their body via Text, Blackberry Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Kik Messenger and so much more. NSPCC made a helpful video in relation to sexting, Take a look here.
- Pornography: due to technological gadget, pornography is becoming easily accessible for children. A child can be in the house with the parent and if not careful, watching pornographic video and images on their hand held devices. Research has shown that Pornographic images and videos can destroy children emotionally and mentally, and should be prevented at any means necessary.
- Lack of family connection: the family is the fundamental tool of community and society in general. If connections are being interrupted by technological device it becomes an up hill struggle for children to form meaning connection with society as a whole. Love this advertisement by Dolmio.
- Virtual Online bullying: teenagers are taking their lives and committing suicide due to being bullied online. Some children end up self-harming, suffering from depression, anxiety and lack of self-confidence, which can affect them into adulthood. Parent should ensure to follow the age rules set out by social media companies. Talk with their children on developing friendship and managing online friendship.
- Paedophilia: is the vileness of children and technology. So much government, charity and media company resources have gone into ensuring children are safe from paedophilia. However, it’s still sad to see it as rampant as when online safety was first campaigned. It must be mentioned that online safety is getting better as media companies, such as Google and Microsoft have new pledged to work with the government to ensure more safety is in place. This, however does not stop the paedophilia camp getting more refined and aiming to be a step ahead.
It is very important for parents to stay connected with their children. Parents should use technology to their advantage as it helps to continually build and contribute positively to parent-child relationship.