The mobilephones devices offer various opportunities for entertainment (gaming,watching movies, listening to music) and learning (internet).Questions have been raised concerning the effects of the radiofrequency on the health of the child. Some scholars suggest, exposingchildren to high-frequency waves may alter their brain development orcause formation of malignant tumors (Cheever, Rosen, Carrier &Chavez, 2014).The paper will discuss the impact of electronic deviceson the health and behaviors of the children.
However, the opportunities offered by the mobile telephony andcomputers cannot be underestimated. For example, a social media site(Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter) allows children to keep in touchwith their peers. Furthermore, some video games specifically designedto improve the learning and thinking capabilities of a child. Someother games tell stories that teach children good moral behaviors.However, it should not be forgotten that some games expose childrento violent scenes such as shooting, stabbing, fights among others.Some suggestions are, by parents controlling the sites children canaccess, they can ensure children engage in beneficial activities.However, the children are gaining more practical underIt is possiblethat children can crack passwords or hack some websites. Notably, amodern child is introduced to computers and phones at a tender age,their abilities to hack computer networks should not be belittled.
The benefits ofthe mobile phones to the day-to –day life are clear. For example,the devices make communication easy. Therefore, it is easy to inquirethe well about of the child at any time of the day or night.Furthermore, communication of the child among the peers is improved.Association is a fundamental element in shaping the behavior of achild. The phones allow the child to associate with groups in thesocial media (Cheever, Rosen, Carrier & Chavez, 2014). The groupsmay share useful insights on good moral behaviors. An example ofsuch a group (site) is Ask Dr. Sears®. The site giveschildren an opportunity to engage services of a psychologist and getguidance on how to handle moral dilemmas (Furió, González-Gancedo,Juan, Seguí et.al, 2013). Children are also challenged to solveethical situations by analyzing case studies.
Computers andsmartphones help the child with their homework. The devices give achild access to study materials. Notably, tools provided by thedevices allows for easy creation of documents and presentationslides. Furthermore, augmented flashcards enable children to graspideas and concepts more quickly (Cheever, Rosen, Carrier &Chavez, 2014). Importantly, unlike the hardcopy notes, online studymaterials are regularly updated and offer extra insights. Therefore,the child is given different dimensions in understanding a concept oranalyzing a study problem. Some teachers require the student tosubmit the homework through email or make posts in online classroomdiscussion boards. A computer or smartphone comes in handy. A studyshows when children are exposed to digital learning content theirliterary and numeracy skills are improved (Furió, González-Gancedo,Juan, Seguí et.al, 2013). The study evaluated the abilities ofautistic children to read and calculate using smart devices.
Studies showthat the cognitive abilities of a child significantly improve byplaying video games. Researchers observed that action games gavechildren enhanced mental rotation abilities. Furthermore, thechildren had a higher spatial resolution and visual processingcapabilities. In fact, games improve the abilities of the child tolearn spatial skills (Garde, Umedaly, Abulnaga, Robertson et.al,2015). The abilities of a child to pay attention seem to increasewith the number of video games played. Furthermore, successes invideo game give children positive feelings. After winning a game, thechild becomes less anxious and more relaxed. Video games also improveself-awareness and positive outlook on life.
Mobile phoneshave an impact on the health of a child. The brain of a child belowthe age of 16 is still developing, and their nervous system is verysensitive to radio frequency. Exposing the child to these waves mayaffect their brain development process. Researchers intimate thatmobile phone frequency may induce brain tumors in the children(Furió, González-Gancedo, Juan, Seguí et.al, 2013). However, tothis point, no evidence has been provided linking brain cancer to theuse of mobile phones. Nonetheless, preliminary analysis shows a spikein the incidence of brain tumors in children who heavily use mobilephones (Khang & Kim, 2013).
The child maylack time to socialize with others. For example, in most cases,children are messaging and receiving calls from friends andacquaintances. The chance to explore their talents and develop theirhobbies is lost. Therefore, addiction to the phone affects the childbehavior and denies them an opportunity to explore their innatetalents (Cheever, Rosen, Carrier & Chavez, 2014). In manyinstances, children are using their free time engaging in socialmedia conversations. The problem is that they miss vital time toparticipate in physical activity. Exercises are important inimproving and maintaining the health of the child. Lack of physicalactivity and the natural like by the children for sugary items formsa deadly combination (Radesky, Schumacher & Zuckerman, 2015). Thechildren are becoming overweight and obese which increases theirrisks of heart diseases, diabetes, and other lifestyle healthproblem. Therefore, though important in communication, use of mobilephones in children should be regulated.
Addiction is acentral problem that never goes away whenever looking at challengesof computer and mobile phones. For example, teenage is a challengingperiod for both the parent and the child. The best approach to theproblem is openly talking about it, having the teen express theirfears or hopes. However, when the children spend almost all theirfree time messaging friends, it becomes hard to share (Furió,González-Gancedo, Juan, Seguí et.al, 2013). Parents becomestrangers to the child. The child attaches more significance to peergroups than listening to the family. Another challenge relates to thesocial stress. For example, the child may wish to associate withgroups that may have a particular lifestyle that may look appealing.
Obsession withthe computer and mobile phones is another undesirable impact of theelectronic device. For example, teenagers may stay up the whole nightengaging in chats with peers. Lack of sleep affects the attitude andmood of the child. Therefore, the teen may become repulsive andwithdrawn (Radesky, Schumacher & Zuckerman, 2015). Furthermore,they lack time to explore sports, arts and other activitiesbeneficial to them. Children depend on the assistance of the parentto buy the electronic devices and airtime. The addiction to mobileusage also means digging deeper in the pocket to finance the use.Therefore, children may start stealing money from the parent to buyairtime or phone accessories. Urgent measures should be taken toaddress the problem once it is noted.
The Internetoffers a broad range of opportunities for the children to learn andsocialize. However, it also gives access to potentially harmfulmaterials. For example, the teen may be exposed to child pornography(Khang & Kim, 2013). The consequence may be a roll back in theirsocial behaviors. Therefore, children may develop immoral sexualpractices through the influence of the internet.
A study suggeststhat use of smartphones, Ipads, tablets to divert the attention ofthe child and may affect their long-term abilities of self-control.Mainly, the ability of the child to self-restraint dwindle as theusage of the devices increases. The child behaviors are alsonegatively affected. The long-term impact is a deterioration of themoral values. The child develops selfishness, lack social skillsamong other undesirable personal traits (Khang & Kim, 2013). Parents seem to be oblivious of these impacts when giving or buyingthe devices for the child.
Another studyshow, the child attention behaviors may negatively be affected byspending extended period staring at a screen (television, tablet,computer). Therefore, video games affect the brain development inthe children ( Garde, Umedaly, Abulnaga, Robertson et.al, 2015).Scientists believe that certain receptors in the brain are damaged byoverstimulation. Notably, the environment influences braindevelopment, no doubt this affect the behaviors of a child too.Continued engagement in video games creates a new context for thechild. Instead of the environment acquired through playing with otherkids, the microenvironment becomes a computer screen.
Naturally, thebrain has reward centers that give a feel of pleasure when peopleachieve a challenge or overcome an obstacle. Video games seem toarouse this part of the brain, by giving rewards for reachingmilestones. Most video games are organized into levels of challengesand milestone. One must meet a certain milestone before moving to thenext step. Video games allow children to overcome challenges andbuilt perseverance. Therefore, games increase the self-esteem of achild (Garde, Umedaly, Abulnaga, Robertson et.al, 2015).
Evidence existsthat shows electronic device improves the ability of a child tostudy. A computer or a smartphone allow a child to undertake homeworkmore easily. The teen can stay connected with peers through socialmedia networks. Furthermore, they can access support groups when achallenge confronts them. Notably, digital learning enhances thechild literacy and numeral skills. Therefore, a child grasps an ideamore quickly. Moreover, they can interpret and analyze differentscenarios. The benefits to the parent are the ease of contacting thechild at any time of the day or night (Khang & Kim, 2013). GPStechnology integrated into the smartphones and tablets enable theparent to track the movement and location of their child.Consequently, a parent can notice any unusual changes more quickly.Importantly, video games offered by electronic devices improves childself-esteem, abilities to pay attention and multitask developsthrough video games.
The challengesbrought by electronic devices concerns the change of behaviors in thechildren especially, addiction. The problem of obsession withelectronic devices is, it withdraws the child from the reality.Meeting friends or sporting is replaced with social media chats andvideo games. Furthermore, the child is at risk of being exposed topotentially harmful material like sex violence (Radesky, Schumacher& Zuckerman, 2015). Notably, mobile phones may cause damage tothe brain due to its communication frequency. Lack of exercises maylead to obesity and other health issues.
In conclusion,computers and mobile phones have changed the human way ofcommunication and learning. Sending letters has been replaced withemail and messaging. Penpals have been replaced by Facebook, Twitter,Whatsapp among many others. Notably, the methods of entertainmenthave changed, with video games, Youtube, music sharing applicationsamong others. However, digital addiction has become a tremendouschallenge to families and individuals. Therefore, parents shouldexercise restraint on the use electronic devices by the child.
Cheever, N. A., Rosen, L. D., Carrier, L. M., & Chavez, A.(2014). Out of sight is not out of mind: The impact of restrictingwireless mobile device use on anxiety levels among low, moderate andhigh users. Computers in Human Behavior, 37,290-297.
Furió, D., González-Gancedo, S., Juan, M. C., Seguí, I., &Costa, M. (2013). The effects of the size and weight of a mobiledevice on an educational game. Computers & Education, 64,24-41.
Garde, A., Umedaly, A., Abulnaga, S. M., Robertson, L., Junker, A.,Chanoine, J. P., … & Dumont, G. A. (2015). Assessment of amobile game (“MobileKids Monster Manor”) to promote physicalactivity among children. Games for health journal, 4(2),149-158.
Khang, H., & Kim, Y. (2013). Self-traits and motivations asantecedents of digital media flow and addiction: The Internet, mobilephones, and video games. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(6),2416-2424.
Radesky, J. S., Schumacher, J., & Zuckerman, B. (2015). Mobileand interactive media use by young children: the good, the bad, andthe unknown. Pediatrics, 135(1), 1-3.
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