What Are The Effects of Internet on Child Development
Children like exploring new things all the time and that’s why they prefer an interactive world of technology and internet because it provides them with several things to explore. In fact, computers and the internet can help enhance the development of the child’s physical, cognitive and social skills which is a great thing. However, there are also negative effects associated with using the internet ranging from health-issues to social-problems. So, in this article I’m going to provide you with some of the major effects of the internet on children:
Positive Effects of Internet Usage on Child Development:
- Improved muscular development and motor control skills: Regular usage of a computer and internet will naturally enhance a child’s eye-hand coordination and improve on motor-skills due to keyboard and mouse usage. This actually makes children capable of multitasking at earlier stage which is a good thing for this technological generation.
- Cognitive Development: Children who use computers and internet regularly have shown signs in cognitive abilities such as good-memory, spatial and logical problem solving, critical-thinking, concentration, abstraction and comprehension. In fact, use of internet promotes children’s verbal and nonverbal skills which in-turn improves on the quality of learning that they can transform into knowledge.
- Social-development: The Internet allows children to socialize with other children through the use of email, social-media, chat-rooms and instant messaging hence increasing on the development of communication and social-skills. In fact, the internet allows children to connect their friends in different places around the world in-order to share different ideas, cultures and traditions.
- Improved team-work at school: The use of Internet in classrooms allows the children to work together and encourages sharing of ideas and cooperative learning. In fact, parents whose children use Internet at school believe that the Internet has improved their child’s overall attitude towards school.
- Improved independent learning: The Internet also allows children to actively participate in an independent learning environment like in a computer-lab or at home after school-hours. In fact, the internet motivates children to read more after school and this helps to expand on their knowledge.
- Provides different forms of entertainment to children: The Internet provides children with different forms of entertainment through online games, movies, music, videos and a lot more. Additionally, the Internet offers unique entertainment alternatives to children who are physically disabled and unable to engage in physical activities. For example, virtual-reality games allow disabled kids to experience a more natural and active playing environment.
Negative Effects of Internet Usage on Child Development:
- Reduced creativity amongst children: the internet has actually led to a reduction in creativity amongst children especially those who are always using social-media platforms for longer hours. Additionally, the internet provides children with unlimited information that is very easy to access and this implies that there will be no need for creativity since everything is available. For example, today student don’t put in enough effort into their assignments or projects because they can simply get all the information on the internet and then copy and paste into their work which makes learning and creativity difficult.
- Lack Of human-interaction: The internet has led to lack of face-to-face communication because most children today find it easier to communicate through the use of internet-platforms like emails, social-media platforms, etc. in fact, this has led to a decrease in physical-contact with family-members and even trust amongst people. On the other hand, research shows that face-to-face communication helps people build mutual-trust and improved creativity as a teamwork.
- Increased Time-Wastage: Today, children tend to spend too-much time on the internet and forget doing other activities. For example, children spend a lot of time watching-movies, playing-games and using social-media platforms instead of learning new-things or doing other meaningful activities. All in all, the internet has turned into a distraction element for most children today.
- Cyber-Bullying: This is actually bullying using the internet and its one of the biggest negative effects of the internet on children. In fact, cyber-bullying is very easy to-do because it’s not like physical-bullying and has no laws to control it. Likewise, the victims of cyber-bullying tend to feel embarrassed and insulted because of the wicked comments used by the criminals and that’s why there is a positive relationship between cyber bullying and suicidal attempts by victims today.
- Family Abandonment: Excess usage of the internet by children actually leads to abandonment on family. In fact, when people become addicted to the internet they become insensitive to real-life and people around them including members of their own family. For example, most children today take the internet as the only friend they have which is a very bad-thing.
- Increased Privacy issues: Children especially teenagers tend to exchange their pictures, private information or personal-chats every day on social-media networks but they are not actually aware of risks of privacy threats whereby their information can be easily accessed by strangers and misused. For example, many people have been kidnapped, murdered, stolen due to misuse of information over the internet.
- Increased Insomnia cases: Insomnia is actually a sleeping disorder that happens when people are not able to sleep or rest and the internet is one of the causes of insomnia. In fact, children especially teenagers tend to spend all their time browsing on the internet day and night even under sleeping-hours. This becomes a habit that is not easy to get rid of but it will greatly affect your child’s physical-health (eye-strain) and mental health.
- Reduced physical activities: the internet also leads to physical inactivity because it only supports the mental-side. For example, children spend a lot of time on the internet and forget to relax and workout their bodies and this can actually lead to physical and mental health problems in the long-run.
- Increased internet addiction: Today, children are very addicted to the internet that they even forget to play with their friends or even interact with their family-members. In fact, Students and teenagers spend most of their time on the internet playing games, watching-movies and social-networking and they actually find it difficult to get away from the internet for just a few days according to research.
- Increased moral decay: this is also one of the biggest negative effects of the internet on children because children can easily access pornographic information and violent-content on the internet which can lead to wrong mental development. So, it’s very necessary for parents and teachers to control what kind of information should be available or not for children.