The following post is written by one of our Criminal Justice interns, Chelsey, who has been interning with us since August. Chelsey attends Central Michigan University and is interested in pursuing a career in the Human Services Field.
“The internet is a wonderful tool, but technology is increasing faster than the safety message is.”
Children are using the internet more frequently in today’s society. There are a variety of ways they are using technology such as, tablets, TV’s, computers, and cell phones. Often times, children are given a tablet or phone to keep them occupied and distracted at the doctors office, grocery stores or even in their own homes. The internet can affect how children and teens think, feel, learn and interact.
“41 percent of children ages 3 to 5 use the internet at home, compared with 57 percent of 6 to 11 year olds and 71 percent of 12 to 17 year olds”
Using the internet is not always bad when using it appropriately and in moderation. It can be very helpful for children because there are many positive opportunities that come from the internet like learning, entertaining, socializing, and teamwork. Schools are starting to increase technology use in the classroom to help guide teaching and learning. Teachers can use tablets, computers and televisions for children who are visual learners. Playing video games, spending time on social media, or mobile apps are all hobbies and interests just as much as sports and reading are. Kids can share their interests with their peers and friends about TV shows or books that they like.
However, children who play video games or are on a tablet frequently have less of an ability to focus and have a hard time processing information compared to those who use it in moderation. These children might think in an unrealistic manner and do not think as critically or creatively others. By using the internet often, it is affecting mental and emotional well-being, as children are not socializing and interacting face-to-face with peers and can create a sense of feeling alone or isolated. Excessive television watching can create exposure to violent programs which can cause some children to have nightmares or experience aggressive behavior. A prominent issue in today’s society is how children and teens who are on social media may become involved with people they do not know, as people online can portray themselves as someone who they are not. We’ve done some research and found a source for you to better understand how some applications can allow you to monitor or limit phone use, if you choose this as a course of action. Whether it’s monitoring a new driver on the road for their safety or controlling the amount of time your little ones spend on technology, click below to learn more and decide for yourself.
How can parents get involved with their children and internet usage?
Example: Only allow your child to use technology after finishing their chores.
Example: Put parental controls on all devices and frequently check what websites they are using and with who they are speaking to.
Get them involved with school or clubs
Example: Putting them in a sport will keep them active.
Try not to use technology excessively around children
When children do use technology, use it purposefully. Encourage them to pick a show that they are interested in or excited about, or have them only use social media when they want to send a message to their friends or family.
Technology will continue to be around and instead of avoiding it, we can learn to control it.