As we look around society, we see that technology has taken the world by storm. The rate at which technology is advancing is at an all time high. Technology has become something we now depend on at home, school, work, and in our lives as a whole. Without a doubt, technological advances have made life easier—sending instant emails, making phone calls, discovering who’s standing at your front door. It’s all very helpful, but has technology also led to great disadvantages?
When I look around me, I see this common occurrence: infants and toddlers using smartphones and tablets. I notice them playing games or watching videos. Other times, I see them doing more educational things such as learning the alphabet, or learning to read using various apps.
However, regardless of what specific content the child is absorbing when using these devices, I have pondered over the negative impacts of introducing technology at such an early age.
Long periods of time on a device can cause it to heat up, which leads to radiation. This radiation leads to serious health problems that can affect infants and toddlers much more than older children or adults. Additionally, the overuse of smartphones and tablets often promotes a lack of physical and social interaction, which many adults and adolescents can attest to.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a lack of social interaction during these young stages in development can affect children in the future. Not just social interactions with peers, but with family members too. Technology is like an addiction to most infants and toddlers—just like it is for many adults. This vice is used as an easy solution to boredom, and often used by parents to give kids busy work, or to get them to stop crying. But what many parents don’t realize is that this overstimulation of technology can have negative effects on children’s mental health.
Because many children are constantly using these devices and being overstimulated, it becomes very difficult for them to focus on tasks such as reading a book or doing homework.
Despite the great assets that technology has brought to our lives by informing us and making our lives a little easier, we cannot allow technology to completely consume us. Toddlers and infants’ brains are still in the beginning stages of development, hence, it is more harmful for them to form unhealthy habits that will be difficult to break in the future.
Technology should be introduced to children at a later age, not when they are toddlers. There needs to be alternative ways to educate and preoccupy infants and toddlers without having to use devices to do so.