BY JESSIE WEBB
Whenever I’m with my family, my mom always tells me to put my phone away because it’s not necessary. I get that she might want to talk as a family, but what if I want to show a picture? Or look up what events are happening around town?
Technology does have positive uses that actually make life easier. Simply, technology is like a wonder drug to the universe. Once it was developed, there was no end to its use. It is literally everywhere. Technology is something everyone uses in their daily lives and children need to be exposed to it if they want to thrive in the real world.
Some parents may say the internet or technology in general use should be limited because it causes distractions or it wastes valuable time. Being able to have screen time whenever can be used in good ways also. Parents should not put restrictions on technology use because it is a vital skill for the future, interact with others and help them learn.
Kids are always hounded for being on their phones all the time, but, according to David White, a publisher for Social Studies for Kids, “Adults with children clock up as much time on screen as their teenage children do, ” which makes the point that limiting screen time for kids is meaningless since adults are on their electronic devices for the same amount of time.
Furthermore, technology has integrated itself into the lives of everyone. Children have grown up with technology their whole lives and have never lived without it. To them, according to John Palfrey, the Head of School at Phillips Academy, “there is no ‘online life’ and ‘offline life.’ There’s just ‘life’.” Palfey emphasizes how intertwined technology is with humanity. Instead of working against the fact that the world has succumbed to technology, we should work with it to innovate society.
Technology helps children interact with other people from a neighbor to around the world, helping people forge connections. For example, when someone moves to a new place or starts off at a new school, social media can help one connect with others. According to Reynol Junco, an American psychologist, social media can help people “feel socially integrated at their new schools, and reduce their risk of dropping out.” Limiting children’s use electronics in such a situation could make it harder for them to find allies.
Social media is also a great platform to find out current news that even regular news channels do not cover. For instance, when the November 2015 Paris attacks occurred, “social media was the place where millions of people around the world first heard about it.“ Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide a wide variety of resources to hear about breaking news first hand before news channels are able to report about it. If parents limit their children’s screen time, they would miss important information about world events, warnings of places where violence is occurring, and what places should be avoided.
Many parents look at phones simply as devices on which kids play games, and the internet and social media as places that ‘corrupt’ their children’s thinking. In fact, technology helps children learn in an easier and better way. By limiting screen time, parents are taking away the chance at improved education.
Natasha Singer writes in her New York Times article, “How Google Took Over the Classroom” that technology “is transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps.” By using technology as a tool, learning can be expanded with still low budgets to include exposure to worldwide information.
Moreover, with the use of computer technology in school, there’s never a mess of papers. People who have a hard time writing won’t have to struggle to write because they can type, and those students who have trouble staying organized find that their files and information are much more accessible. According to John Palfrey, “without the time and hassle associated with paper, [technology in the classroom] can improve learning for students in nearly any discipline.”
Limiting children’s screen time is pointless because technology could actually be helping them. Although many adults don’t understand the relationship these newer generations have with technology because they never grew up with it, they have to understand that it’s a part of the world, for better or worse. Limiting screen time is like fighting for a cause that was never advocated. So, parents, don’t limit kids screen time. It doesn’t do any good for anyone.