Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Technology And Its Impact On Children

This was sent to me by my father, based on his experiences in dealing with my nephews and observing other kids where he lives in India. Enjoy - Sri

I am amazed at the way children are able to make use of the technological inventions which have sprouted in the last few years. Gone are the days when they were satisfied with simple electronic toys or cartoons like Tom and Jerry or Donald Duck.

What fascinates children, are the new game platforms which are proliferating. The makers of these games are targeting kids right from the primary stage in education. Usually the profile of the children is that they belong to families where both parents are well employed. So money is no constraint and they are able to buy the latest offerings frequently even if they cost a few thousands of Rupees.

We feel happy when we see the ease with which the kids are able to understand and play these games. What is disturbing is that the children become obsessed with these games and sit glued to the computers for hours together. They neither see nor hear other things. They stop only under parental compulsion. Even when they are not playing, their mind is possessed by these games and they compare notes with their friends who, like them, are addicted to the past time.

The other possible fall-outs from this could be;
a) They may not find time for their studies
b) Reading books will become out of fashion
c) They will have very little time for interacting with other family members.

Tackling this problem is not going to be easy. If one tries to ban these games from the house, it will cause resentment. The children will feel that their peers will look down upon them.

The first step that can be taken is to talk to them and convince them to reduce the time they spend on this activity to, say, 1 hour per day. Other steps that can be thought of are to encourage and persuade them to widen their interest. They can be advised to take up swimming, playing games involving physical activities like football, basketball etc. They can also be guided to take up some branch of music.

The idea behind all this is to develop a package of activities for them, so that they will have no time or inclination to over indulge in any of these games. Their life will become sort of balance.

K. Sivaramakrishnan


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