Should we be Digital Optimists or Pessimists?
Although the Internet and technology represents both opportunities and risks for children, just restricting their access or removing the technology from their lives will not help raise a digital generation.
BALANCING THE RISKS
In order, to think about the balance between online risks and online opportunities we have to consider the benefits and how to develop these benefits the children. There are many things to be worried about, which we will met which we will also discuss.
Such as sites for chatting to strangers, anonymous messaging, sites for adult only content sites where people share and encourage race hate and self-harm. There are apps and services where messages can be sent very quickly which can be used to upset others. But we must remember that society has worried about technological changes in the past such as the printing press or the invention of television. Every technological revolution has brought concerns about potential effects on children's minds, on their behaviours and their moral compass. What the Internet has brought is new a new visibility to some very long-standing persistent problems. But the Internet is not the cause of human misery, people are.there are lots of organisations, give , example here, working to advise parents and teachers.
We must remember stop bolding that online opportunities correlate with the online risks in other words the more opportunities the more potential to encounter risks. But remember this is just like becoming more independent off-line. When children become more independent and encounter the world they also encounter more risks. To reduce the risks we will also be restricting their opportunities. We need to teach children to develop a resilience against potential harm.
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS OR NEGATIVE EFFECTS
Parent's naturally worry about the use of digital technology by children because of all these potential pitfalls and we know that children are very much more naive than adults and not yet emotionally and socially developed or prepared enough to deal effectively with many of these risks. And because children's level of maturity and judgement is still developing their far more susceptible to marketing, and to inappropriate social interactions, addictions to online games, texting, and potentially identity theft through revealing too much information online. Some researchers also suggest that children who engage frequently in social digital social networking are more narcissistic all concerned overly concerned with their appearance. Although it's not known whether it's just those children who are naturally more concerned with their appearance who are more attracted to social net working and also perhaps more sensitive to the experience?
There are many reasons that parents and teachers worry about children's engagement with the digital world. There are a multitude of potential risks are associated with children accessing technology. For example, if children access the Internet and supervised, or stay online for long periods of unbroken time. There's lots of research looking into the claims the concerns about children's cognitive, and emotional emotional and social development in these digital times. Claims are made that children are becoming more destructible, more impulsive and self obsessed. As a consequence they are less able, concentrate inorder to learn but also struggle more to enjoy life, and to thrive socially. There is also the potential for overuse of technology to cause poor sleep which in turn damages children's health. Other risks include access to online forums which can reinforce unhealthy behaviours such as self-harm. Other risks associated with children's use of the Internet include them accessing her aggressive violent gory content. Stalking and bullying, hostile peer-to-peer exchanges. Encountering inappropriate adult contant, Racist content, personal data misuse, gambling, and copyright infringement.
Some of the negative effects:
Children who play more violent online games seem more likely to have increased amount of aggressive thoughts and behaviours. And the more exposed they are to simulated violence the more immune face they can become to it, and more inclined they are to act violently themselves.
These effects can be worsened by the games interactive nature. So in many games, children are rewarded for being more violent. And the act of violence is done repeatedly. The active participation, repetition and reward are effective tools for learning behaviour. However the jury is still out and much there is much research further research is required on this issue.
It's unknown whether children are able to leave the emotional effects of the games behind when the game is over. There have been cases of teenagers who commit violent crimes who also spent a great amount of time playing violent video games. But we must remember that there will always be violent people, and it may just so happen that many of them also enjoy playing violent video games.
But too much are video game playing can make children socially isolated. They may spend less time doing other activities such as sports and interacting with their family and friends. Others will say that gamers do not usually replace their off-line social lives with online gameplaying, but rather it expands them. It could be that for shy children, digital communicatin can enable them to engage in a wider social environment. It can help them find others with similar hobbies and interests.
But we know that some games teach children the wrong values. Violent behaviour and vengeance are rewarded. Negotiation and other nonviolent solutions are often not options. Women are often portrayed as the weak characters,
CURRENT ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST
There is potential for children to pick up bad language and bad behaviour from online games.
Those that become addicted may also become depressed and anxious. Addicted children not surprisingly also see their school performance suffer.
Some children exhibit more impulsive behaviour and attention problems. These children may have difficulty in sustaining their concentration over a period of time to reach their got longer term goals.
There are arguments over whether playing games can enhance children's concentration or are harmful and cause problems with children's attention spans, they may improve the ability to concentrate in short bursts but damage the long-term concentration.
However games are also associated with quick thinking and decision-making. Sometimes the player does this almost every second of the game giving the brain a will work out.
Games can also be helped to develop reading and maths skills. Children have to read the instructions follow the story-line of games and get information from the texts.
Maths skills are often important to winning many games for example when children have two consider how to manage their resources of the game. They can encourage perseverance when players have to keep on trying until they succeed in order to move on to the next level of the game. Some studies have shown that there are games that support children children with attention deficit disorders to improve their concentration spans.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT
There are tools available for parents to screen for things like cyber bullying, and Internet gaming disorder.
There will always be a few children who confuse reality and fantasy and some will be more susceptible to gaming addiction. These children may skip their homework to play online, resulting in poor performance at school.
We are now living in a high-tech, sophisticated world games can help children adapt and become comfortable with concepts of computing. When children play games with parents they can be a bonding activity. Games can also make learning fun. Animations and interactivity with challenges and rewards support learning. Teachers know that having fun gives children motivation to keep trying.
Games can improve children's decision-making speed without sacrificing accuracy. They can increase children's self-confidence as they master a game. At the beginner levels children can find tasks easy and manageable and with constant practice they can build skills becoming more confident and tackling more complex challenges. They don't fear making mistakes and so are encouraged to risk exploring more. These attitudes can be helpful if they are transferred into real life. Gaming accomplishments can give children a sense of competence which fulfils a human psychological need.
When children are allowed to play games for instance in the waiting room or on the way to school they will be quiet and well-behaved. But is this what they really need? Or do they need time to deal to daydream to process their thoughts, and share them with their parents,.
Today there are both opportunities and risks presented by the digital age.
Kim Mackenzy Andrews Children's Author
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