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OPINION: Electronics have negative effects on children’s behavior and development

Computers, phones, and other devices are used in most, if not all, professions and educational environments and have become a vital part of our daily lives, and therefore, it is important for kids and adults to understand how to use them. Despite electronics significance, parents should still limit their children’s screen time because of the negative effects it can have on them. 

We use technology every day for our jobs and school. Letting children use tablets, phones, and other devices can connect them to the outside world and give them access to useful information. However, technology can also hinder their development of social skills and increase bad behavior. 

When kids spend more time on electronic devices, they are spending less time socializing with the people around them. Interacting with family and friends can strengthen children’s social skills, as it allows them to become comfortable with social intercourse and expands their vocabulary. Kids who don’t socialize as much are also more likely to be awkward or act out in public because they aren’t sure how to behave around other people.
While electronics provide articles and videos on millions of topics, we tend to leave one article and move to the next as soon as we lose interest and don’t always take time to process what we read. Kids who read books regularly tend to have longer attention spans, more creativity, and can process larger amounts of data. In a study conducted by Microsoft Canada, it was found that since the year 2000, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds due to the increased use of technology.

More time spent on electronic devices also means spending less time outside and getting less exercise which then leads to more frequent snacking, higher risk of health issues, and higher obesity rates in children. In a 2017-2018 independent study on elementary students, approved by the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), it was found that the children who spent less than 1 hour a day on electronics made up less than 5% of obese and overweight children in the study while over 60% of them spent 1-2 hours a day on electronics. 

Parents should be limiting how much time their children spend on electronics and encourage them to engage in conversation and partake in healthier activities such as riding a bike or reading.  

 

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About the Contributor
Ashlyn Wagner
Ashlyn Wagner, Copy Editor
I am the copy editor for Canyon Ridge news team, The Riverhawk Review. I am a Senior, and this is my second school year working on the school newspaper. I am taking classes for the digital media program at CSI and love music and singing. I also enjoy reading and writing and look forward to writing amazing stories for the newspaper this year. 

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