Newest Reports Find Smartphones Changing Childhood
Children these days are definitely way more different compared to children from a different generation. According to experts, children nowadays are brighter because of all the information that they get from the internet. This may sound as if it s good thing but without proper guidance, this may lead to something bad. The number of children in the United States, who spend most of their times staring into the screens of their smartphones and tablets continue to rise within the last four years.
CHILDREN AND SMARTPHONES
There are some parents who believe that it is essential for their kids to own a smartphone at such a young age, then again, is there really such thing as too young. Experts believe that with proper guidance and rules, there is absolutely nothing wrong with children having smartphones, but unfortunately, parents doesn’t seem to be doing their job in that department.
According to a report done by Common Sense Media, which is a nonprofit organization that primarily focuses on helping children as well as parents and educators on how to properly navigate the world of media and technology, children who are as young as 5 years of age, spent about 15 minutes a day on their mobile phones back in 2013, but now, they spend almost an hour a day already. This report was released just this month and they also discover that about 42% of children who are younger than 8 have their own smartphones and tablets, which was a huge leap from 7% in 2013.
According to the professor of psychology at Iowa State University, Douglas Gentile, this report by Common Sense Media is not surprising at all. He has been studying the effects of media on children for quite a while now, “On the one hand, it’s not surprising because it’s what we look around ourselves and can see. I can see it at the airport, for example, I can see it at restaurants and I can even see it in my own home where my younger daughter watches almost no television but she’ll watch lots of TV shows on her phone,” he explained.
Gentile also mentioned how parents are really having a hard time monitoring everything that their children are doing. Then again, parents seem to use technology as a way to keep kids preoccupied and calm especially when they are in public. “We may be building a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, because we’re using that power for our benefit, not for the child’s benefit.”
MEDIA CHANGING CHILDHOOD
The chief executive officer and founder of Common Sense Media, James Steyer said in an interview, that it seems as if things are getting into a seismic shift when it comes to how the patterns are changing with children’s interaction with media. “One of the most staggering findings is that mobile devices are not as common in the home as TVs, where 98% of households with kids under 8 have a mobile device. The ubiquity of mobile is changing childhood,” Steyer said.
There are approximately 1,454 parents who have children ages 8 and below who answered a surgery online regarding the use of media. The survey showed how children spend an average time of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day. “The report actually shows that kids’ overall media use has stayed the same, what’s changed is how they’re using it. Mobile is totally taking over, it now makes up 35% of screen time,” he explained. He also mentioned that these children are now spending more time on their phones and tablets than they do reading or studying.
SCREEN TIME TIPS FOR ADULTS
Experts believe that it always depends on the parents on how a child will grow up. So that would mean that if parents just simply use technology to actually occupy their children without supervision or proper screen time schedule, then whatever bad effect it will cause them is totally the parent’s fault. It is a fact that there are a lot of benefits children could get from learning with the use of their mobile phones and tablets, but the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that parents must never give their young ones full control of technology, the previous generations turned out fine without all these things so everything must be in moderation, you wouldn’t want your children to lean on technology so much.
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