Now-a-days technology has become integrated into every nook and cranny of the lives of the IGen… that’s the new title for the current generation of youngsters. I-phones, I-pads, Tablets and gaming devices are in the hands of most young people today. What are the benefits and what are the down sides?
Research shows that children who use social media cites extensively have a shifted perspective on the world around them. They tend to have less of an internal drive and more of an external drive. For example, they now ask questions like “how will other people perceive me?” and “how can I make those perceptions positive?” Some undesirable implications of this can relate to self-promotion, a decrease in empathy and excessive impression management. To name a few.
However, don’t throw the mallet through the screen just yet.
Social media cites allow the bonds of friendship to span vast amounts of space and countless years beyond where they would if the internet didn’t exist. Social events cycle through news feeds along with the promotion of things like disease prevention activism and community service opportunities.
Positive implications of all of the above can be healthy self-expression, closeness with far away family members, increased participation in charitable activities and increased awareness of social gatherings & current events. To name a few.
A Kaiser Foundation study shows that the young spanning from 8 – 18 use technology over 7 hours a day on average!* Research shows that this is an excessive amount of time. Also, it is suggested that parents stay involved and confirm that their child is making constructive choices and garnering the positive results listed above.
When it comes to the complex management of “screen time” with your pre-teens and teens, there are multiple schools of thought regarding the fine point details. However, what every researcher can agree on is that what’s needed is BALANCE.