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Tiny Tot Tech Troubles

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  Fingers flying across a glowing screen and eyes wide with awe and amusement, the child reaches the second hour of succumbing to the clutches of the iPad, falling into a trance-like state, unaware of the real world.

  According to The Huffpost writer Cris Rowan in the article The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child, instead of going outside or taking the time to spend with their families, young children are beginning to become attached to their devices, as the average child spends about 7.5 hours using technology.

  Bloomfield Hills High School Biology Teacher Jennifer Novak, who has reached her 16th year of teaching this year, has also seen changes in her students over the years.

  “I feel like some of the creativity that I have seen decrease in that respect…people don’t really have original thoughts because it’s now so easy to see what other people think about a topic, or have an idea about something on the internet,” said Novak.

  Children are now becoming more involved with technology, not just outside of school, but in school as well. According to Novak, many elementary school curriculums are moving online.

  “As a parent, as far as technology goes, I see that they do homework on the computer,” continued Novak, who has two elementary-aged sons, both of whom have integrated technology into their daily lives. “Now they’re more likely to type instead of handwrite something.”

  Sophomore Alexis Moss has noticed these changes in behavior and work ethic in her younger sibling.

  “As my little sister grows, she uses technology 24/7, she is less physically active…her tolerance for excessive usage of technology has increased ever since,” she said. “It does make me disappointed because nowadays, [little kids’] lives are all on their technology.”

  With this overusage at such a young age, of course, comes possible effects on a developing child’s health. According to Rowan’s article, sleeping disorders, developmental delays, learning difficulties, and even autism have been proven to be effects of the overuse of technology at a young age.

  “I think there is more issues with sleeping because the bright screen and the blue light specifically from the screen doesn’t lend itself to falling asleep at night and you know when you are tired, it affects everything else that you do during the day,”said BHHS Media Specialist and mother Stephanie Bevier, who, as a media specialist, has seen this increased use of technology in young kids as well. “It is frustrating because you want kids to get out and move their body and to use it in the manner in which we were created to move.”

  Moss agrees, seeing a decrease in physical activity in her younger sibling, as well as in the children that she babysits.

  “It’s definitely heartbreaking because the kid that I babysit, she’s only in first grade and she knows all these things on how to use technology that I would never had figured out when I was younger and when I was her age. She is just so attached to it, she never wants to play and it’s always either watching Netflix or going on YouTube. They’re just not very connected with the world now. They are just connected with technology.”

  As for the future and as technology usage among young children continues to grow, how younger generations will end up functioning in the future is unknown. However, Novak believes that putting limits on the overuse of technology will help to make this future more foreseeable.

  “I think that there is a place for technology and I can’t imagine a world now without it,” said Novak. “I think, as a parent or as a teacher there is a time to put limits on it and ensure that the youth does still have those experiences outside with friends, communicating one on one, and not always being in front of a screen.”

1 Comment

One Response to “Tiny Tot Tech Troubles”

  1. Vivian Harber on February 15th, 2018 7:34 am

    I love this article and I can relate to it so much! I have a younger brother and I totally see all these trends in his behavior. It’s sad!

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