Digitalization: Changing what it means to be a kid

The kids of yesterday looked forward to climbing trees, riding bicycles, playing hop scotch, and occasionally watching television. Within the past decade all of this has changed. Today’s kids are highly technological beings who spend upwards of 50 hours a week using social media according to experts. A new study called “Always Connected: The New Digital Media Habits of Young Children” reports that 80% of American children ages 0-5 use the Internet on at least  a weekly basis.

Although the effects of the extensive use of social media on young people is still unknown, there will likely be effects. Young people’s brains aren’t fully developed; and the daily use of internet and social media will impact the development of the brain in some way.

Things have changed dramatically from when I was young. The only computer I had access to was a huge monitor that took up most of the space on the desk. Today children have their own expensive laptops that they can use anywhere. Most children I grew up with were only allowed to use computers at home in a common area where a parent could monitor what was going on. This unsupervised Internet access causes serious privacy and safety issues for children.

Of course computers and the internet have become part of our every day life and life as we know it would not be possible without them. Children are changing now too as they become accustomed to using the internet at an early age parents need to take precautions to protect them from online predators and teach them to separate fantasy from reality.

By: Nicole Johns

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