Children and new technologies: advantages and disadvantages of their use

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Surely you have noticed how easy it is for your children to manipulate any electronic device that falls into their hands. There is practically no need to teach them, they do it almost naturally. And it is in which house there is no mobile, tablet or game console?. Today, children grow up surrounded by new technologies and learn by imitation, they even have their own laptop to study in many cases. So much so that we are already talking about digital natives.

The usefulness of new information and communication technologies (TIC) is indisputable. They have changed the way we work, communicate and even have fun. Never before have we had so much information, and so quickly, at our fingertips. ICTs make our work and life in general easier. However, like everything else, they have their advantages and disadvantages and their misuse can be harmful, especially for children.

3 Ideas for responsible use  of new technologies.

They are a powerful learning tool . Many websites and applications are developed in order to stimulate memory, literacy, memory and mental calculation, through the use of games, songs or stories. Interactive games, which also involve movement, develop alertness, coordination and balance.

The use of ICT promotes learning in a pleasant and attractive way, therefore increasing the motivation and interest of the child.

They allow quick access to information, being an open window to knowledge. Kids can study, ask questions or satisfy their curiosity with just one click.

They promote communication with people both from the environment and from other parts of the world . This facilitates school work in teams, communication with people who are not physically close or who interact with people from other countries, promoting interculturality.

Parents we can select the content that we deem appropriate to entertain our children. We can create closed lists with films, series or documentaries and have the peace of mind that they will not see anything inappropriate.

Many games allow the interaction of several players, so it can be played with family or friends promoting socialization by common interests.

Disadvantages of using ICT.

Can be addictive if used uncontrollably . We must be vigilant and observe if the child’s life revolves around the use of new technologies. If you are no longer interested in other activities such as hobbies, sports, friends or studies, now is the time to put the brakes on.

Children can be exposed to dangers like cyberbullying, pedophiles, sending inappropriate content, etc.

When exposed to so much information and stimuli so quickly, problems such as insomnia, hyperactivity, aggression or anxiety.

They promote isolation. Many children keep their eyes glued to the screen without talking or playing with anyone at the time.

Higher risk of suffering obesity and posture problems , by promoting a sedentary lifestyle.

Ideas for responsible use of new technologies.

Appropriate use of new technologies can be very beneficial for children. However, we should be aware of the risks associated with their indiscriminate use .

It is important that we talk to our children, explaining to them that there is a time to use ICT, just as there is a time to play sports, go out with friends, read or study.

There is no specific age for introducing new technology into a child’s life. Everything will depend on the degree of maturity, the environment, the circumstances and the values ​​of the parents. In any case, it is not recommended to expose children under the age of two to any type of screen. At this age, the brain is still developing, so its activities should be aimed at exploring the environment, playing and experimenting.

Daily exposure time it should not exceed two hours. In the oldest, this period can be extended in the event of work or studies.

Internet access should be supervised by parents as not all content is suitable for all ages, nor all people they may interact with do so in good faith. The computer, tablet, mobile or television must always be used in the common areas of the house.

Finally, we don’t have to ban new technologies. Our children were born in the digital age and they need to know how to manage ICT. But you have to support them and teach them how to use it responsibly.

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