It wasn’t going to happen to you.
You said you would never be one of “those moms” who let the iPad babysit their 3-year old.
But, here you are. You find yourself letting your kid play on your smartphone or Kindle while you clean the house.
Allowing your kids to use technology is one of those “well, everyone is doing it” moments. The kind of moment you thought you would never live to see, but somehow you find yourself right in the middle of it.
In a day where modern technology continues to advance it can be hard to stand firm and limit technology use.
But, is it that bad?
Yes. While it might be beneficial sometimes, too much of a good thing can still be bad.
You probably know these not-so-hidden side effects of too much technology, but a couple might surprise you. (Thumb text, anyone?)
5 Not-So-Hidden Side Effects Of Too Much Technology
It hinders their creativity.
Technology teaches children to rely on typing their problems into Google, rather than finding a creative way to solve it on their own. Instead of allowing your kids to spend hours on the computer, turn it off.
Encourage them to do creative activities such as drawing, painting, and crafting. Crafting with stickers and ribbon, paper, crayons and other stuff improves kids creativity, motor and analytical skills, and verbal reasoning skills.
It can lead to a loss of social skills.
If your child is glued to their electronic device, they are missing out on valuable human interaction. While they might know their way around their keypad, they still need to know how to talk one-on-one with another person.
A lack of social skills can lead to issues later in life with future adult relationships and employment. Sure, your kid might end up a professional gamer, but the more likely career is one where they have to interact with people on a daily basis.
Your child might experience aches and pains.
Ever heard of “thumb text” and “phone neck”? The medical industry coined specific terms to describe various aches and pains which can be the result of too much screen time.
While using technology, the neck, head, and wrists are often at an odd angle and the thumbs are being strained.
As a result of these odd positions, children might experience migraines, arthritis, and back pain in life.
It can cause sleep deprivation.
The crisis of sleep deprivation due to overuse of technology is seen across all ages, but it is most detrimental to the body of a young child. On average, a child needs 10-12 hours of sleep to achieve proper growth and development.
Children with electronics in their bedroom tend to get much less sleep than needed – averaging only 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
And it’s not only that the children staying up late. Additionally, their body interprets the blue light given off by the electronics as daylight and sends out signals to the body to wake up, disrupting their sleep cycle.
It hinders development.
Especially during the first few years of life, your child’s body is hard at work developing their motor, attachment, and sensory systems. A child requires 2-3 hours each day of active play to achieve adequate sensory stimulation. This stimulation is vital to their tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems.
Furthermore, these systems can receive stimulation through hugging, touching, and play time. But, if your child is spending their 2-3 hours of free time glued to technology – the television, their tablet, or your smartphone – they are missing out on these vital hours of touch and play that contribute to their development. This can lead to both physical and mental issues such as childhood obesity, ADHD, and various mental illnesses.
While trying to limit your child’s technology usage, try to lead by example and limit your own as well.
I know it’s hard – trust me, I know – but your efforts will be worth the effort.
Maybe your text thumb will go finally go away. 😉